Here’s how brands are cheering on England’s progress at Euro 2020

England’s taste of success at the Euros has got fans and brands cheering on the team to go even further. We look at some of the marketing activations produced around the team as the Three Lions has progressed through the competition.

The unexpected progress of the England national team to the semi-finals of Euro 2020 hasn’t just delighted fans of the Three Lions – it’s helped the marketing efforts of brands partnering with the FA. We explore how brands are building on the creative already unveiled to capitalize on the team’s success, how unofficially aligned brands are getting in on the act as well, and what to expect as the competition rolls on.

BT: Hope United by Saatchi & Saatchi

BT Group’s ’Hope United’ campaign featured prominent players from each of the three home nations competing – but with Scotland and Wales out of the running, the brand has switched to emphasize the English players featured in the creative, such as Jordan Henderson and Marcus Rashford.

The campaign has maintained its message against online abuse and hatred directed towards the team thoughout the competition, even as major politicians weighed in on whether the team should take a knee at the beginning of each match.

Speaking on the campaign, Pete Jeavons, marketing communications director, BT, tells The Drum: “BT’s Hope United campaign set out to help the UK tackle online abuse, an issue that isn’t just ruining football, it’s ruining people’s lives. In fact, recent research revealed that 1 in 10 people have received online abuse in the past year.

“Throughout the Euros we have posted BT Tech Tips content, created by the Hope Utd squad, helping to give people the digital skills they need to tackle hate online. We have also monitored social media and proactively responded to both positive and negative stories across social media, raising awareness of the issue of online hate and helping to educate the nation on how to protect themselves.”

McDonald’s: A quarter off for the quarter finals

McDonald’s, while not an official sponsor of the tournament this year, still managed to join in by offering 25% off its entire menu on Saturday July 3 to celebrate England reaching the quarter-finals.

A spokesperson from McDonald’s tells The Drum: “We’ve been as swept up with football fever as the rest of the nation, from rolling back our prices to ’96 prices when England played Scotland to increasing percentage-off discounts as we’ve progressed through the knockout stages. As we hope is the case with the England team, the best is yet to come, so watch this space for more news on My McDonald’s App offers as we prep for the semi-final.”

Specsavers: It’s coming home

Away from the official sponsors, cheeky opticians Specsavers and agency Tangerine Communications celebrated England‘s progression by erecting a spoof eye test chart, which spelled out ‘It‘s coming home‘.

Speaking on the campaign, Lisa Hale, head of social at Specsavers, says: “It’s fair to say we and our social media agency, Tangerine, have been having a lot of fun during the Euros so far, combining the Specsavers tone of voice with classic ‘Should’ve’ mishaps like poor refereeing decisions, fouls, missed penalties and some questionable punditry.

“It all ties back to our overarching strategy, which is to bring the classic ‘Should’ve gone to Specsavers‘ line to life on social media, increasing brand warmth and likeability. This has come to life throughout the tournament through reactive creative, interruptions and surprise-and-delight opportunities.

“We can’t say for sure what’s on the cards for England (we hope it’s coming home!) but win or lose, whatever comes next is going to cause an enormous amount of conversation on social media – and you can be sure we’ll be looking for ways to put Specsavers front and center.”

Morrisons: Discounts against Denmark

The golden arches aren’t the only place to find a patriotic price cut. National supermarket Morrisons offered shoppers discounts on booze, sweets and crisps, as long as they resided in England.

Consumers in Wales and Scotland were barred from enjoying the discount.

Bud Light: Boxheads by Wieden+Kennedy

Bud Light thought inside the box for its creative campaign – touting its designation as the official beer of the England men’s football team. The tie-up sees extreme close-up shots of Jordan Pickford, Kieran Trippier and Kyle Walker’s phizogs adorning the front of custom-designed drinks cartons, enabling fans to toast their stars straight from the supermarket with a beer you can drink and a box you can wear.

’Boxheads’ is a fully-integrated campaign spanning TV, out-of-home, digital, social and PR to celebrate the brand’s role as official beer of the England men’s football team.

EE: Lions’ Den content series

EE has a long-standing partnership with the FA, having become the inaugural lead partner for Wembley Stadium in 2014, making it the ’most connected’ stadium in the world.

Its content series ’Lions’ Den’ debuted in 2018 during England’s last World Cup campaign, and this time has been broadcast daily from the team’s basecamp in St George’s Park. Hosted by Josh Denzel, ’Lions’ Den connected by EE’ gives Three Lions fans the opportunity to interact directly with members of the England squad every afternoon.

Paddy Power: Euro 96

England’s footballing identity is rooted in painful but fond memories of past glory. So it’s only natural that for Paddy Power’s latest campaign, centered around the ongoing Euro 2020 tournament, the brand lent into that aversion by spoofing England’s past failings.

The campaign features former players Teddy Sheringham, Sol Campbell and Peter Crouch reminiscing about a non-existent victory at Euro 96. They’re joined in misremembering the tournament by Eastenders actor Shaun Williamson in a short mockumentary.

Nationwide Building Society: Sign Your Support

Nationwide’s ’#SignYourSupport’ campaign aims to help customers show not only their passion for the beautiful game, but their commitment to protecting its values.

For every signature of support Nationwide gathers, it will donate £1 to the new Mutual Respect Grant fund to help support grassroots football – up to a maximum of £50,000.

Additional reporting by Sam Bradley.

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