How can brands make their promotion stand out amongst other sponsors?

There are many reasons and benefits for being an event sponsor, from brand awareness and generating sales, to exclusivity and the many, many corporate benefits.

As the heading suggests, what interests me is how brands leverage their sponsorship and engage shoppers when they are one of many brands leading with the same theme and often giving away similar prizes.

First, let us find a current event and look at what some of the official sponsors are doing. Well, with the UEFA Euro 2016 starting in France on Friday I can’t think of a better example.

Euro Logo

I’m sure you have all seen at least one of the above brands offering UEFA Euro 2016 rewards and prizes. If not, have you not switched on a TV, scrolled through Twitter, walked down the road or been in a supermarket recently!?

From tickets and hospitably, to merchandise and money can’t buy experiences, the prizes on offer have been very similar, but how have brands made their promotions relevant, engaging and have standout?

Let’s look at a couple of examples:

Adidas have kept it simple, leading with high profile ambassadors and social media dominance #BETHEDIFFERENCEEuro Ad image. The prizes consist of a short break to France and hospitality tickets to a knock-out game.





Coca Cola have 1000’s of tickets to give away and lead with this plentiful prize message – lots of prizes, lots of chances of winning.    The actual prizes are 504 sets of 4 tickets, plus £400 to help get toEuro Coke France, offered as daily prize draws with each day offering tickets to different games.   Giving shoppers the choice of what they can win and when really stood out to me.



McDonalds have run with a money- can’t-buy prize experience, offering children the chance to be a player escort at the games.    McDonald’s talk to parents/guardians asking them to upload a picture of their child cheering, celebrating, or supporting their favourite team.  An engaEuro Mcging entry mechanic, associating McDonald’s with happy, fun, family moments.   Whilst such a campaign can never change the brand’s health credentials,  this active approach can certainly help address more negative brand perceptions and in my opinion, is doing just that.


Now we have looked at what some of the sponsors are doing, let’s move onto my favourite, “It’s unbelievable Jeff!”… “Did you see that, yes but I thought they were making a sub?!” The Chris Kamara quotes are a clue – ‘If Carlsberg did Substitutions’.

Apart from featuring Chris Kamara (does there need to be another reason?), if you don’t know who Chris Kamara is, spend 4 minutes 24 seconds watching this video –  you won’t regret it.

Anyway, back on track…’If Carlsberg did Substitutions,’ firstly what a great way to reinvent the world famous brand line ‘If Carlsberg did…’ with an imaginative twist.  Perfect for the sponsorship and audience.

What really caught my attention was their activation, substituting Euro tickets for good deeds. The same prize as Adidas and Coke, but delivered bang on brand in an engaging, memorable way. As you’ll see in this video people who gave their seat away to an elderly Chris Kamara were instantly substituted with Euro Caralternative seats to an England Euro 2016 game.  An experiential campaign sent ‘superchuggers’ to the streets, and those of us who were generous enough to give up 90 minutes for their nation were instantly rewarded with more Euro 2016 tickets to an England game.

So whilst it may not be linked to purchase, it certainly lifts the trophy for “Most engaging Euro 2016 promotion”. It has stand out, it engages a wide audience, it disrupts the shopper journey and in my opinion influences purchase intent.

The most effective promotions are more than on-pack and POS.  It’s essential to consider how to make a promotion more engaging to the audience, as this can deliver not only against short term sales objectives, but also longer term brand engagement and loyalty.


Lawrence McNally
Shopper Account Manager