Thought Leadership

Euros 2024 mark a step change in sports storytelling

A roundup of the marketing highs and lows of Euro 2024 so far

Nicola Kemp

Editorial Director Creativebrief


As summers of sports go 2024 is shaping up to be a blockbuster year. Social media platforms such as TikTok are revolutionising sports storytelling, with a significant impact on brand campaigns. While the untapped potential of women’s sports offers new opportunities for brands to align with moments that celebrate what women’s bodies can achieve, rather than judge what they look like.

For experiential agencies, the challenge is to deliver seamless brand experiences which genuinely add to the events and sporting moments brands are lining up to align themselves with. Because, let’s be honest if brands aren’t adding to the experience, should they even be there in the first place?

Shopper marketing, often the unsung hero of the Euro’s marketing extravaganza, is also a crucial space for brands to create cut-through and drive sales, as consumers still grappling with a cost-of-living crisis choose to watch the tournament at home and brands have the opportunity to become that must-have treat.

The highs and lows of the England team will doubtless impact the brands aligning with the team and its players. UK footballing culture remains notoriously unforgiving. Thoughts and prayers with Hellmans, who made Jack Grealish the face of its official partnership for the Euros, even creating a burger in his honour.

A somewhat dramatic headline in The Telegraph declared ‘Hellmann’s advertising campaign in tatters after Jack Grealish is dropped from Euros squad’. The slightly less dramatic reality is that the campaign and its strapline ‘Up Your Game’ is still up and running. The noise surrounding the campaign on social media will likely only increase brand awareness. The brand has successfully avoided the real Euros 2024 marketing own goal: creating work that no one even notices in the first place.

For while it’s all too easy to prematurely declare winners and losers in the summer of sport, the reality is that those brands that continue to stand on the sidelines are missing out on the unique cultural firepower of sports marketing.

With that positivity in mind here is a round-up of some of the best creative work to come out of the tournament so far. With the knowledge that there is far more to come, this summer both in the creative industries and on the pitch, it is all to play for.

Paddy Power says England is Europe’s favourite

A campaign from BBH London for Paddy Power features Danny Dyer drumming up support for the England team in Europe ahead of the tournament's kick-off.

Kopparberg launches football shirt to protect skin from UV rays

As things heat up Kopparberg launches a football shirt with the help of agency Neverland, which features Ultraviolet Protection as part of the brand’s partnership with the Melanoma Fund.

No More Injury Time campaign blows the whistle on domestic abuse

There is a 38% rise in reported abuse cases when England's men’s team lose a major tournament. The campaign created by The Wild By Jungle aims to raise awareness of the support available for anyone facing domestic violence.

PizzaExpress creates football Ch-EAT sheet for newbies

PizzaExpress comes to the rescue of non-football fans with football Ch-EAT sheet and Dough Ball Penalty Shoot-Out Boxes.

Heineken launches first Beer insurance plan

It’s estimated that the UK spills almost 11 million pints every year during major sporting events. Heineken is celebrating the summer of sport by offering fans replacements for spilt pints due to Euros over-excitement at selected pubs.

Müller shows the power of rice with Declan Rice campaign

Müller Yogurt and Desserts expands its partnership with footballer Declan Rice, with a new integrated campaign featuring a series of special build billboards and digital executions from VCCP and its content creation studio Girl&Bear.

Women’s Aid Euros campaign calls for No More Years of Hurt

The campaign, from House337, is the latest instalment of the award-winning ‘He’s Coming Home’ campaign and leverages the cultural firepower of football to spotlight important conversations about domestic abuse.

Ladbrokes starts a ‘Mexican Wave'

Paying homage to the famous football celebration, Ladbrokes Euros campaign from Neverland spreads excitement across Europe.

'Til I Died’ brings to life the human cost of heart disease

Ahead of the Euros Saatchi & Saatchi has launched a poignant campaign to commemorate the lives of 12 young football fans whose lives were cut short by heart disease.

Nike awakens the madness

Nike’s Euros star-studded campaign features footballers Kylian Mbappé, Erling Haaland, Jamal Musiala, and Vinicius Júnior.

EE takes aim at online hate

The 'Hate. Not in My Shirt' campaign, created by Saatchi & Saatchi, is designed to combat all forms of online and offline hate.