The “summer of soccer” rolls on with the 2016 edition of the European Championship kicking off today, one week after the Copa America Centenario kicked off. The host country France is the favorite in the tournament, which is the first to be played with an expanded field of 24 teams.
That expanded field has led to much debate across the Internet, television, and newspapers as some people think that an extra 8 teams dilutes the strength of the field and potentially the games. Personally, I’m excited to see some of the smaller European teams get a crack at the big boys in a knockout tournament.
With some of the game’s biggest stars taking center stage – Cristiano Ronaldo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and Paul Pogba to name a few – the action on the field promises to be exciting. There are plenty of storylines heading into the tournament. Can Germany follow-up its 2014 FIFA World Cup Championship with the 2016 Euros? Can Spain regain its glory from a few years ago and win its third straight Euros? Will the pressures of hosting be too much for a stacked French team? Can Belgium live up to the hype and win its first major title? Will England exit another major tournament prematurely? All of that and more will be answered on the field, but we’re most excited about what’s happening off the pitch.
With every major tournament comes sponsorship activations across both the physical and digital realms. With the fan fest areas around the stadiums and host cities, there are plenty of opportunities for sponsors to have a presence and engage hundreds of thousands of fans who attend the games and visit the respective host cities.
We’ll be sure to share some of those activations that catch our eye over the next month, but we want to start off with some of the sponsor advertisements that have started airing globally and online over the last few months. Here are some of our favorite commercials that we’ll be seeing during the Euros.
Nike – The Switch
Nike is well-known for their long and star-studded advertisements ahead of major tournaments and this latest one is their longest yet. More of a short film and less of a commercial, the nearly 6 minute spot is filled with plenty of cameos from Nike Football stars who will be playing in the Euros.
As Adidas continues to be the presenting sponsor of the FIFA World Cup and UEFA, Nike continues to do an excellent job of being a part of tournament conversations that it isn’t a sponsor of by leveraging their athlete roster and national team deals.
Beats by Dre – B [READY]
A sort of spiritual successor to the popular “The Game Before the Game” film from the 2014 World Cup, the latest spot from Beats by Dre is a fast-paced music video featuring Harry Kane, Antoine Griezmann, Mario Götze, and Cesc Fabregas. The spot touts the song “Firestarter” from Prodigy and directs viewers to Apple Music to listen to the full track. With seemingly every major professional player listening to music pre-game, there’s a natural connection for Beats and the soccer world and this is another great spot showcasing that relationship.
Volvo – Made in Sweden
Sweden = Zlatan and Zlatan = Sweden would be the thoughts of a lot of people when it comes to the Swedish National Team. However, Zlatan Ibrahimovic isn’t a traditional Swede. While he was born and raised in the country, his parents are Croatian and Bosnian.
The spot from Volvo is a beautiful look into the Zlatan telling the story of his life, interspersed with driving action from the new Volvo V 90. Volvo’s brand is all about “coming from a different place” so the narrative of both the company and Zlatan fit perfectly together.
Lufthansa – Everyone`s Fanhansa
This is a great commercial from Lufthansa that proudly showcases its role as the German Football Federation’s Official Airline Partner. It’s a tongue-in-cheek look at German stereotypes, all in the name of branded fun. Lufthansa did a great job here making their brand feel inclusive and welcoming.
Bonus Video – Heineken Champions League
While not a commercial for Euro 2016, this spot from Heineken was released this week and it’s too good not to share. We won’t spoil it for you, but just watch and enjoy the twist.