This summer, football teams and Europe's barmiest armies will descend on the stadia of France for the UEFA European Championships 2016.
Watched around the world, the famous tournament is one of sport’s most lucrative events, which means businesses are getting every bit as excited as supporters and players.
New app, EuroPundit is among the digital initiatives aiming to get involved by boosting fans’ footballing experience. The multi-platform app, created by social games designer, Sporting Mouth, enables users to make bets and win prizes as they pit their footballing knowledge against fellow fans to predict the outcome of Euro 2016 matches.
The programme for smartphones, to be launched in the run-up to the tournament, was created by Sporting Mouth to provide a smart alternative to expensive UEFA sponsorship packages. It aims to put brands at the heart of the fans’ engagement with the competition.
The firm’s chair, John Owrid, says: "EuroPundit provides a wonderful opportunity for brands to take part in Euro 2016 and get closer to the people whose opinions about the tournament count just as much as professional pundits – the fans!"
Breaking the naming rights monopoly
By presenting brands with an opportunity to sponsor the app, Sporting Mouth are coming approaching the trademark territory upon which they clashed with FIFA head-on prior to the 2014 World Cup.
"It's patently absurd that you can copyright the words ‘World Cup’, which we used in our app, but that's what FIFA has been able to do,” explains former ad agency boss, Owrid, who believes official tournament sponsorship opportunities lack creativity and cutting edge.
He continues: "Our aim is to help brands to engage with fans on their terms during major tournaments, tapping into the customs and nuances of fan culture in a way that is often by-passed by traditional sports marketing initiatives. You'd expect the collective marketing output for the Euros and the World Cup to dazzle with diversity. Instead, you get a month of marketing similarity that even the Christmas season would struggle to beat. We want to change that for Euro 2016, which will stoke up British fan rivalry to fever pitch with three home nations and Ireland being involved for the first time – and now with England and Wales fighting it out in the same group."
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