A look at the sponsors that have made the biggest impact during Euro 2020

Rishad Dsouza
July 05, 2021, 1:27 PM UTC

While we’re still some way from knowing which nation will win Euro 2020, at YouGov we already have a clear idea of which advertisers are using the tournament to good effect.

That’s because we’ve looked at some of the major brands sponsoring the Euros to see which are enjoying the most cut-through with consumers, using our Ad Awareness metric.

Ad Awareness, which is one of 16 metrics we track in YouGov BrandIndex, measures consumer response to the question “Which of the following have you seen an advertisement for in the past two weeks?”

Here are the brands which have seen the highest month-over-month increase in Ad Awareness scores in June.

Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola may have caught the attention of fans in two ways this tournament. Once with its official campaign and again as the focus of a brief controversy surrounding the brand’s presence in media briefings.

Its innovative ad campaign features England football stars Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain promoting side-businesses.

The campaign uses an ad-in-ad format, showing a group of fans enjoying the football when a very brief commercial appears on the on-screen TVs. In these momentary clips, the England captain promotes ‘Harry Kane’s Canes’. Marcus Rashford sells marker pens while Oxlade-Chamberlain launches his new line of socks called ‘Socks by Ox’.

Adding a fun interactive touch to these in-ad adverts are telephone numbers for each player’s business. Vigilant fans who tried dialling a number were greeted by a voicemail from the respective players.

Coca Cola’s Ad Awareness score among football followers grew to an average of 24.6 in June from 15.0 in May, shooting up by 9.6 points to register the sharpest spike out of all the brands we tracked for this piece.

Heineken

Another beverage brand claims the No.2 spot. Heineken has seen a 7.7-point boost in Ad Awareness in June to reach 13.1, up from an average of 5.4 in May. In preparation for the Euros, Heineken teamed up with Robbie Savage to run a prank on his former on-field rival and now friend, Rio Ferdinand.

The clip shows former England footballer Ferdinand being tricked into thinking that he’s to be inducted into a ‘Heineken Hall of Fame’. Former Welsh footballer Robbie Savage soaks in the sights behind the scenes as Ferdinand gets ready to accept the honour, and takes witty digs at his friend.

Ferdinand is half-amused and half-awkward when he unveils a special portrait of himself that has him draped in the Welsh flag. As Ferdinand tries to make sense of the situation, Savage emerges and the two, along with the other on-set personnel, share a hearty laugh.

Heineken also launched a separate advert, depicting fans of various participating countries cheekily tricked into acquiring a symbol of support for a rival team. Both clips go under the tagline ‘Finally together, to be rivals again’.

Booking.com

In a commercial called ‘Rivals Reunited’, Booking.com spreads a message of camaraderie between supporters of different teams. The ad uses statistics gathered from the booking.com website to tell the story in a 30-second clip.

The travel website has registered a 6-point month-over-month increase in Ad Awareness to reach a score of 17.9 for June.

TikTok

To mark the return of fans in the stadium, TikTok superimposed short clips created by users on the app onto famous football scenes from previous Euros events. The video positions TikTok as the destination ‘Where fans play‘.

The social media platform’s Ad Awareness among UK football followers has grown by 5.1 points in June.

Volkswagen

As UEFA’s mobility partner, the car-maker won over social media on the opening day of the Euros when it had a tiny remote-controlled Volkswagen deliver the match ball for the Italy vs Turkey encounter.

Volkswagen rose 4.2 points in its Ad Awareness scores among UK football fans in June.

Methodology: YouGov picked the five Euros advertisers that had the highest month-over-month change in Ad Awareness score in the lead-up to and around the Euros 2020. This original list of brands included in the analysis featured 19 brands that have run campaigns around the Euros 2020, but isn’t comprehensive. Ad Awareness score is based on the question, “Which of the following brands have you seen an advertisement for in the past two weeks?” and delivered as percentage. Sample sizes range from 184 to 392 adult football followers in the UK, depending on brand.