Brand Dilemma; Euro '16 v. Rio '16

May 14, 2015

 

The summer of 2016 is a dream for fans of international sport.  France will be hosting Euro 2016 while the games of the XXXI Olympiad will be competed in Rio de Janeiro.  For marketers, however, such high profile global events running in close proximity to one another can often raise questions over prioritization.

 

A couple of major global brands (Coca Cola, McDonald’s) are committed to both events as official partners.  As we all know, however, budget is an afterthought for both of those organizations and they have all of the necessary resources at their disposal to successfully execute all-encompassing marketing campaigns in association with the Olympics and the Euros.

 

Unfortunately, most brands live in a world where budgets are finite.  As such, tough decisions may need to be made relative to which event can best deliver against an organization’s global growth objectives.  There are numerous variables which come into that decision making process. 

 

Euro 2016 will be the final chance for brands to activate against a major event hosted exclusively in Western Europe for the foreseeable future.  Will that fact be enough to steer brands towards the Euro’s in the hope of harnessing the power of geographically friendly event marketing (See infographic below)?

 

Specific to the Olympics, will brands familiar with activating against an event on Brazilian soil (2014 FIFA World Cup) be more inclined to recreate or reinvent their initiatives? Or does the event itself take precedence?  In other words, will Olympic loyalists remain with the Olympics and football loyalists with the Euros, regardless of locale?

 

Of course, a brand’s unique objectives should be the primary driving force behind the development of a strategy linked to either event.  Despite the similarity of their global reach, each event has distinct inherent characteristics which may best align with a brand’s own attributes.  Beyond the simple and obvious links (such as a football centric brand focusing on the Euros) are where it becomes important for an organization to understand its own brand.  “Edgier” brands which aren’t afraid to push the envelope  may find that the fervor around the Euros is most suitable to their image needs.  On the contrary, more conservative brands may find that the abundant “feel good” storylines which emerge in and around the Olympics are the best to associate with their product or service.

 

Target demographics must also be taken into consideration.  Painting with a broad brush on a global scale, the Euro’s will certainly attract a more working class following, while the Olympics will have more of a reach into the upper middle and upper classes.  On a more micro level, however, the two events can reach a very broad and diverse global demographic, which should be narrowed and tactically targeted based on the offering and objectives of the brand.

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