Euro 2016 kicks-off tomorrow in France as one of the least attractive tournaments in decades. And so despite the number of top players participating, and the high number of candidates to win the tournament (which includes usual suspects Spain and Germany and the likes of France, Belgium, reborn England, Portugal and omnipresent Italy), which make it one of the most open in history.
However, a number of negative factors off the pitch have created uncertainty over the Euro 2016 potential success, resulting in increased difficulty to recruit tournament sponsors and to sell broadcasting rights (in holding champions country Spain they were only sold some weeks ago). Concerns over terrorism and fans security, scandals surrounding UEFA and FIFA or the coincidence with Copa America Centenario (which for sure will penalize TV audiences in South America) are among the key reasons why Euro does not bring along the traditional excitement of a tournament of this caliber.
As for player endorsement campaigns linked to the Euro, the situation is not much different. In fact, Euro 2016 is probably the tournament which has seen the lowest number of activities involving personal image rights in the way we were used to see them. So high profile and lucrative personal image rights deals with the likes of Hyundai, Samsung, Pringles or Pepsi (which is now focusing on its Champions League sponsorship) are being replaced with tactical agreements focused on digital and below the line activation that don’t carrying-on the usual TV commercial which significantly increase the cheque that goes to the player. Or in many cases the brands have just opted for pure ambush marketing activities to minimize the investment in a tournament which is not as sexy as usual.
Having said that, we should exect plenty of excitement on the pitch and high TV audiences in Europe, so let’s enjoy it as much as we can.