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UEFA stands by 5 billion+ Euro 2024 audience ambition

By Brad Rees, CEO Mediacells

UEFA and its sponsors’ ambition this time around is to smash the 5 billion cumulative audience metric set at Euro 2020, according to UEFA commercial chief, Guy-Laurent Epstein.

On the ground and in the grounds, the European confederation has sold most of the 2.7 million allocated tickets, with games selling out in the 10 venues across Germany.

UEFA Euro 2024 revenues, up 25% on the last event, is likely to generate €2.4 billion from commercial, sponsorship, licensing, broadcast and ticketing. The 5 billion cumulative audience ambition may look far-fetched but as Mediacells pointed out back in April – in order for the tournament to reach 60%+ of the entire global population – content will have to travel far and beyond official touchpoints and broadcasters into the stratosphere of micro-influencers within the digital creator community.

Most digital contributions to the 5 billion cumulative audience will be connected on Tik Tok and Instagram.

According to Deloitte’s recently released Digital Media Trends report, 47% of Gen Z members prefer to watch social video and live streaming than either old/new TV shows or movies.

Team Scotland, for example, have 225/1 odds of winning UEFA Euro 2024 but a look around social medias, on the morning of the opening game of the tournament, indicates incredible commercial and digital creator activity.

Official soft drink sponsor Coca-Cola is given a Glaswegian kiss by Scottish refreshment brand Irn Bru who have written an open letter to the Scotland football team, offering to put each of the team player’s bins out, feed their fish, water plants, throw away junk mail and put the heating back on (in mid-July!) before they return home with the European trophy.

The campaign name, Optimism Back in Scotland, is a perfect example of euphoria-driven messaging which after the Tartan Army’s 5-1 drubbing by a merciless Germany may need to be recast.

The trademark Scottish sense of humour is never far from the content of Euro 2024-flavoured social media posts, like when national train company ScotRail offered to replace the Tiny Football Car (Volkswagen are no longer a sponsor) with a Tiny Football Train and a wise-cracking Scotland fan comments, ‘Game wouldn’t kick off on time’.

The comment was screen-grabbed by the one million-strong Instagram account @ScottishPatter and liked 6k times in as many hours. Meanwhile, Scottish Banter shares with its 951k Instagram pals the moment when an exuberant Scottish bagpiper attempts to engage football fans in a Munich bar, before losing his footing and fulfilling one of the best comedy pratfalls ever seen since the Del Boy and Trigger bar scene. The caption ‘Scottish piper down in Munich’ is liked by 24k in 24 hours.

Lit Routes, a Gen Z travel operator offers a Cologne Starter Pack on Tik Tok for newly-arrived Scotland fans in the Germany city, with an itinerary of things to do in between matches, with the Irvine Welsh-grade urbane address, “Welcome Bawbags’, delivered by a German speaker.

It is the sum total of these micro-engagements, which when tallied across nations, teams, fairweather and diehard fanbases contribute significantly to the cumulative 5-billion audience KPI. As Mr Epstein says, “We expect to surpass what we did in Euro 2020 with a target audience of 5 billion. We are very confident.”

UEFA’s commercial team are already looking towards the next Euro in 2028 when the football extravaganza will be held across the five countries of UK and Ireland.

The last word to Guy-Laurent Epstein in Sportcal last week, “The Euro is huge,” he states. “The target is 5 billion cumulative audience across the month, so it’s quite significant. Each of the 51 games is bigger than one Super Bowl. The Super Bowl has this image of being a huge audience, and it’s true in the US, but
we are global and therefore we can reach people everywhere.”