European Activation Case Studies

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’.

BT abruptly pivoted its activations to digital after the pandemic struck just a month after it launched a new, five-year ‘4-3-3’ Home Nations soccer sponsorship strategy in February 2020.

In April 2020, eleven Spanish football clubs joined sponsor CaixaBank’s cause campaign, supporting food banks to meet the rising need during the Covid-19 lockdown crisis.

In summer 2016, for Under Armour’s first St. Pauli kit, supplier and club worked with agency Nordpol on a campaign that spanned social, PR and at-stadium strands and was led by an online film focused on a redesigned players tunnel.

Chinese smartphone brand Oppo’s campaign around the 2020 French Open spanned online and on-site initiatives to promote the 5G Find X2 Pro handset, primarily targeting young adults.

Suzuki’s 2018-19 activation of its Torino shirt front deal was inspired by the increasing popularity of dating apps.

Official airline Emirates activated its rights around the delayed 2020 French Open to promote the fact that, post lockdown, its Dubai-Paris flights had restarted.

On the weekend that would have hosted the cancelled 2020 Open, Mastercard took presenting partner rights to the final of the R&A’s ‘e-Open’.

Villarreal CF and technical partner Joma’s July 2020 triple kit launch campaign leveraged lockdown social media creative trends and focused on digital assets to drive online sales.

In October and November 2019, Hoffenheim naming rights partner PreZero ran an eco-focused activation around the club’s home game against Paderborn to deliver the first carbon-neutral Bundesliga match.

The pandemic forced Uefa Europe League partner Kia Motors to pivot its 2019-20 season marketing programme from in-person initiatives to online experiences.

Crypto trading platform StormGain leveraged its Newcastle United sleeve sponsorship in spring/summer 2020 with a video Q&A series featuring the Premier League club’s biggest stars.

For the 2020 Champions League’s return in August, Uefa partner Mastercard created a best practice example of how sponsors could switch physical experiences for virtual activations amid the pandemic.

Bochum and Nike’s campaign promoting the club's 2020-21 jersey led to tripling the previous season’s shirt sales and generating record revenue even without fans in the stadium or the physical club shop.

For the final stages of the 2020 Uefa Champions League, with matches played behind closed doors after the tournament’s pandemic-enforced shutdown, Hotels.com activated around the idea of watching the match from somewhere special.

Ahead of the 2020-21 season, CA Osasuna and kit supplier adidas rolled out an integrated online campaign promoting a trio of new centennial kits focusing on the local region, its land and symbols.