How Rights Holders Can Leverage Social Media to Win Off the Field

Jul 14, 2021 Best Practices & Insights Analyses

Image depicting how rights holders can leverage social media


The long-awaited UEFA Euro 2020 tournament finished up in dramatic style on Sunday, prompting a flurry of posts on social media to celebrate the winners, Italy, and commiserate with the beaten-finalists, England.

While many of these posts were driven with passion and emotion in mind, there were some great opportunities for the teams, players and others involved to drive significant brand recognition and generate sponsor media value (SMV) for their key sponsors.


Features with Key Brands

In the lead-up to the final, a much-shared England post drove over £55K in SMV for lead partner Nike. Another branded content post from UEFA, featuring tournament partner Alipay, drove over £23K in SMV for the brand. On both occasions, large brand logos were featured in prominent locations, helping to drive strong value.

Image that generated over £55,000 in sponsor media value on social media


Viral Moments

Immediately following the win, Italy’s official accounts took to social media to celebrate, with key posts gaining a significant amount of engagement. The team chose images in which kit manufacturer Puma was highly visible on both the front of shirt and sleeves. These two posts alone generated over £76K in SMV for the sport-wear brand. 

Similarly, this moment of Azzurri goalscorer Leonardo Bonucci making light of the product placement controversy, involving star players Cristiano Ronaldo and Paul Pogba, earlier in the tournament, was viewed by over a million fans and drove £45K in SMV for all the brands involved.

Image that generated over £45K in SMV for all the brands involved


Missed Opportunities

Throughout the match, the main Instagram account for the England football team posted over 10 times, driving nearly 6 million engagements from their posts. Nevertheless, only one of these images was front-facing with the Nike logo visible. To drive more value for their main apparel sponsor, more content featuring front-on, close-up imagery could be considered.

Image depicting missed opportunities to leverage social media


Podium Celebrations

Many of the iconic moments shared on social media involved the presentation of the trophy, which was posted by both UEFA accounts as well as numerous earned media accounts. These posts both gained over 5 million impressions collectively. However, these drove no value for tournament partners.

By using a backdrop featuring key sponsors of the event, or a podium in front of the players, UEFA could have generated significant additional SMV.

Image depicting how the backdrop could have been improved for social media purposes


Throughout the tournament, many great moments were shared across social media, and fans were extremely engaged with UEFA Euro 2020. Rights holders ranging from tournament organizers to the countries themselves should consider key brands as a part of their social media strategy when posting relevant content for future international events.

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Written by Harshad Kale

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