European Activation Case Studies

For the behind-closed-doors 2020 British Grand Prix, F1 global beer partner Heineken promoted its 0.0% brand via an immersive activation for local health workers.

Uber Eats used a five-step, anthem-led activation to leverage its sponsorship of French football club Marseille on its return to the Champions League in October 2020.

In December 2020, Covid-19 prevented Dutch football fans from watching their teams in-person, so PSV sponsor energiedirect.nl pivoted to a virtual strategy to launch its annual club Christmas sweater.

Through a social media partnership with French retailer Boulanger, built around a Facebook Collaborative Ads campaign, white goods company Beko leveraged its FC Barcelona rights to boost online sales 39 per cent in Autumn 2020.

In summer 2020, auto brand Cupra launched a global campaign to promote the launch of its new Formentor model, fronted by Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen.

In late 2019, HSBC kicked off its Tottenham Hotspur activations with a campaign celebrating the club’s women’s team’s first season in the FA Women’s Super League.

Ria Money Transfer tasked agency Sra Rushmore to create a celebratory activation in February 2021 telling the story of legendary Madrid hairdresser Wizarchy, whose journey from the Dominican Republic to Spain reinforces the values of everyday hard work and perseverance.

With the 2020-21 La Liga season was played behind closed doors, Barcelona shirt sponsor Rakuten engaged fans by asking them to submit images to a photomosaic displayed at the entrance of the Camp Nou.

A pandemic-linked data initiative from Siemens tracked fan heartbeats during Bayern games to showcase the connection between the club and its fans, while raising money to support local businesses.

Forex broker FBS activated its FC Barcelona rights in early 2020 via a series of campaigns and promotions that aimed to reinforce the brand’s leadership position, drive global growth and boost business in emerging markets.

After partnering with Spurs for the 2020-21 season, forex trading platform Libertex launched the tie-up with a digital-first activation offering club-related experiences and merchandise.

Running through the post-lockdown restart of the 2019-20 Premier League season, Spurs primary partner AIA pivoted its fan engagement activities to a 360° virtual stadium experience.

During the 2020-21 season, Chinese smartphone brand Oppo borrowed a TikTok trend to digitally engage with Barcelona fans amid the pandemic. 

Creatively inspired by London’s 1960s Op-Art movement, Chelsea’s 2021-22 season shirt launch campaign was fronted by young players from across the club’s teams and amplified by kit partner Nike and shirt sponsor Three.

To kick-off its new Manchester United partnership in February 2020, Mondelēz International brand Cadbury launched a second wave of its ongoing ‘Donate Your Words’ campaign.

In July and August 2020, Everton and technical partner hummel rolled out ‘More Then Eleven’: a multiple kit launch campaign focused on equality, inclusivity and the strong bond between the club and its global fanbase.

With fans stuck at home during Covid-19 lockdowns of 2020, Midea ran a three-month social media engagement campaign that saw Man City players and legends encourage fans to take part in a series of at-home skills challenges.

Ahead of the January 2021 #SkrillDay game against Juventus, AC Milan payment partner Skrill promoted its services via a week-long, incentivised TikTok hashtag challenge.

In July 2020, as the pandemic curtailed live events, new Chelsea shirt sponsor Three worked with the club and its kit supplier Nike on an augmented reality kit launch campaign.

As Covid-19 struck the UK, West Ham and its Official Destination Partner created a branded virtual activation that brought contest winners and club legends together to watch home Premier League matches.

Through the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons, Deliveroo teamed up with Leeds United to increase the volume of restaurant partnerships within the greater Leeds area and drive mass market awareness amongst English football fans.

Ahead of the 2019 Fifa Women’s World Cup, adidas launched its new Sweden shirt with an initiative that saw back-of-shirt numbers replaced by images of female role models.

In 2020-21, eToro leveraged its multiple European club soccer sponsorships to build brand awareness and promote its CopyTrader function.

In Q1 2016, smartphone brand Wiko supported SD Eibar in a community health campaign that saw the letters corresponding to the main blood types removed from the players’ shirts.

Swedish state betting firm Svenska Spel, the main sponsor of the Swedish national team, activated its rights around the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France by having the team’s stars call supporters at home.

Faced with a Covid-enforced shutdown of Irish rugby in spring 2020, Irish Rugby Football Union sponsor Energia pivoted activation of its title sponsorship of the All-Ireland League Awards to an online campaign and ceremony.

In early 2019, retailer Intersport activated its partnership with Bundesliga side Hoffenheim through an initiative that auctioned player-worn kit to raise funds for children’s charity SOS-Kinderdorf.

Through 2019 and 2020, Volkswagen leveraged its football partnerships – led by its official mobility partnership with the Deutscher Fußball-Bund (DFB) – through a centralised European content hub called ‘We Drive Football’.