Case study: UEFA EURO – branding and social media activities

The second biggest sporting event of the year (after Summer Olympics 2016) is currently being held in France. The 2016 UEFA European Championship has broke several records even before the first whistle was blown at Stade de France. For the first time, Euro is contested by 24 teams (previous five tournaments had 16 teams) and it will be played at ten different venues.

Euro 2016 is the 15th edition of the tournament, and France is hosting it for the record third time. Also, Albania, Iceland, Northern Ireland, Slovakia and Wales have qualified for the UEFA Euro for the first time.

In this text we will analyse the branding of UEFA Euro 2016 and how did they cover one match of the tournament on official social media platforms.

“Everything happens in France” – François de La Rochefoucauld, famous French writer from 17th century

million fans are expected in France from June 10 till July 10

billion Euros are expected in revenue by the organisers

It isn’t like branding a normal event. You’re not just trying to promote a sport, you’re also building a destiny for a city, a region, a nation. This is what suddenly transforms a project into an intricate and complex puzzle. The survey and analysis you have to develop to understand the background related to the host country is overwhelming. Cultural aspects, historic information, myths and legends – these are all important sources of inspiration. You need to establish a sense of identity, relevance and belonging, engaging worldwide audiences as well as the host country’s citizens” – Miguel Viana, an independent designer who worked on branding of Euro 2016

is the number of volonteers at Euro 2016

The challenging task for UEFA Euro 2016 branding fell to Brandia Central, the Portuguese brand consulting company who developed the logo for UEFA Euro 2012, and they are in charge for the branding of the FIFA World Cup 2018 which will take place in Russia.

The inspiration that led to the creation of the visual identity for UEFA EURO 2016 is “Celebrating the Art of Football”.  We all know that art is one of the most famous aspects of the France cultural heritage. Art is a part of everyday life in France.

“Celebrating the Art of Football” defines French culture with the beauty of the game and “highlights the qualities that make football so unique and cherished throughout the world; the unpredictability, the beauty, the passion of the players and the intensity of the contest”.

Working concept “Celebrating the Art of Football” is the central message of the UEFA EURO brand, not the slogan (the official EURO slogan is “Le Rendez-Vous”)


The UEFA Euro 2016 logo is a representation of different art movements and football elements. In the centre of the logo there is an icon of the Euro’s trophy named after Henry Delaunay, the Frenchman who inspired the creation of the Euro (and because of whom the first Euro was held in France in 1960). The colours of the logo, which is very elegant and noticable, are similar to the colours of the France flags – red, white and blue.

UEFA Euro 2016


The offical mascot of the tournament is Super Victor, half child, half superhero. He is dressed in French kit with number 16, cape, football boots and has an official Adidas football named “Bleu Jeu”. The fans all over the world chose his name among the other two proposed names – Driblou and Goalix.Super Victor

Official website

UEFA launched a great official web page for UEFA Euro. Besides the great design, simplicity and lots of quality and exclusive multimedia, it has everything that such as big website should have.

It has the latest and exclusive news, photos, and videos, complete profile of all teams and host cities (and stadiums), matches and standings, the history of the competition, the ultimate form tracker for all the players, very detailed stats section, section for tickets and hospitality and lot more.

What is great is that they have a very interesting and entertaining Fanzone section where you can play Euro Fantasy (which is played by more than million people all over the world), Euro predictor, you can vote for the man of the match and win a lot of prizes. Then, you can collect Panini online sticker album, win tickets for the UEFA Finals and meet David Guetta (who wrote the official song of the tournament) and a lot more. You should really check out UEFA Euro’s fanzone because it is really great!

Official app

EURO has launched two official mobile apps. UEFA Euro 2016 Official App is very similar to the website. It has everything that you need to know about Euro.

UEFA Euro 2016 Fan Guide app is designed for fans travelling to and within France. It is a detailed application where you can find lots of useful things about host cities, lots of practical information (emergency numbers, how to get there, info about tickets, fan accommodation, VIP hospitality, etc.)

The great thing about Fan Guide app is that it has “Breaking news” section where you can find the latest news in the case of major security and transport issues.

You can download Euro’s official apps at the App Store and Google Play.




Social media platforms

UEFA Euro 2016 is active on five big social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Google plus. They create really great content on their social media platforms. I especially like how they present the teams.

In the latter text, I will analyse they covered one match of the tournament – Croatia vs Turkey played on 12th June at Parc des Princes).

The official hashtag #EURO2016 – automatically triggers an icon of the competition’s trophy. Fans of all competing nations can support their country with a special national flag emoji with a hashtag of the abbreviation of country’s name (e.g. #ENG #GER #FRA #CRO #POR)

Also, Twitter and one of the official sponsors “Orange” have agreed to illuminate the Eiffel Tower with the unique light show and colours of the nation that receives the most support on one day on Twitter.

“We’re incredibly excited that Twitter will be at the very heart of the #EURO2016 fan experience. Since the last major summer sporting tournament, World Cup 2014, the creative possibilities on Twitter have evolved hugely. Alongside new features such as GIFs, polls and Twitter Moments, we’ve made it possible to broadcast video through our live-streaming app Periscope. We’re already seeing players, teams and fans embracing all this before a ball has even been kicked, and can’t wait to see how this live, public conversation unfolds on Twitter as the tournament intensifies” – Rebecca Stewart, Reporter covering social media and breaking news at The Drum.


million followers UEFA Euro has on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

times Croatia and Turkey played on European Championships











View this post on Instagram

A game of fine margins… #EURO2016

A post shared by UEFA EURO 2020 (@euro2020) on

Case study

As I mentioned before, I will analyse how UEFA Euro 2016 covered one match of the first leg of the tournament. The analysed match is Croatia – Turkey 1:0 (played on 12th June at Parc des Princes, Paris).

I‘ve chosen this game for several reasons. First, and most important, Croatia is my home country. Second, Croatia is regarded as the biggest dark horse of the tournament. Third, this match is very interesting because of the long-time rivalry between those two countries. And fourth, Croatia is very interesting from the marketing perspective because of their unique chequered visual identity.

During the two hours of the game, and one hour before the game, UEFA Euro was most active on Twitter, where they had 46 posts. Take a look at some of the tweets on how they covered the game:

During the three hours of my analysis, they had 14 posts on Facebook. Take a look at some of them:

During the game they put 11 pictures on Instagram some of them followed by official visuals:

View this post on Instagram

When you can only watch and hope… #EURO2016

A post shared by UEFA EURO 2020 (@euro2020) on

On YouTube, they have put the video of starting line-ups of both sides and highlights of the first match between those two countries, at Euro 1996 in England which was the first match ever at big competitions for both countries.


UEFA 2016 European Championship is one of the three biggest sporting events in the world (the other two are FIFA World Cup and Summer Olympic Games).

With this text, we wanted to show you how such as big institution as UEFA brands its prominent competition and how they communicate on social networks.

Of course, UEFA is one of the most lucrative sporting institutions in the world and they can invest a lot of money in branding and social media communications.

Lots of sports clubs and institutions, do not have capacity and time to have quality branding and communication as UEFA Euro 2016 has. But, that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t learn from them.

If you want to learn more about branding of sporting events and digital communication, feel free to contact us.

Niko Rukavina

Niko Rukavina

Overtime Sports Marketing

If you have any questions about sports marketing, be free to contact me at

footer OT logo

Copyright © 2014-2016 Overtime

Follow Overtime team:

tw icon Marijan

tw icon Vedran

tw icon Bruno

tw icon Niko