UEFA EURO 2020: Six Campaign Ideas For Sports Brands To Increase User Retention

  • UPDATED: 02 July 2023
  • 7 min read

Reading Time: 7 minutes

UEFA EURO 2020 is the 60th edition of the international men’s football tournament held once every four years in Europe. Scheduled to be hosted last year, the event was postponed to 2021 owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. Live sporting events like this one are a great way to engage and retain users on your mobile app or website. It is speculated that online viewership of the European tournament will reach an all-time high this year, making this edition all the more important for Sports brands and Football clubs with a strong digital presence.

Here are a few campaign ideas that you can implement during this live tournament to retain users:

#1: Prediction polls, votes, and discussions

The key to increasing interactions with your app is by building a simple UI that makes it easy for your users to submit responses quickly.

The social discussion platform, Reddit, launched an interactive section on its r/soccer subreddit. Football fans can use this to predict scores by voting for the outcome they think is most probable and have discussions and debates around the events that unfold. This is how the UI of prediction posts looks like:

Note the engagement score of each prediction post. A large number of comments and votes implies that Football fans want more content like this. Building a similar mechanism on your website or inside your app will resonate really well with your users. We believe the adoption of this campaign will increase exponentially as we reach closer to the finals. So, launch this as soon as you can!

Takeaways from Reddit for Sports brands and Football clubs

  1. Create a dedicated section for predictions and make it easier for users to discover. Note how Reddit positions this in the top menu and adds a red “LIVE” label to draw attention to their campaign.
  2. Add a real-time counter to show how many users are currently active. This will create a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out) in your users and they’ll want to participate more.
  3. Maintain a regularly updated leaderboard to increase participation and give your users a sense of accomplishment when they see their profile above others. This can also be a great way to introduce a referral system where your users can invite their friends and family members and compete with them.
  4. Build a clean and simple UI that prompts the user to take an action and easily accepts inputs. Reddit’s mobile app offers large selection buttons making it easy to vote using just the thumb of the hand they’re holding the phone in.

Ideas for polls and votes

  • Score predictions,
  • Winner predictions,
  • Man-of-the-match predictions,
  • VAR predictions: Football fans love controversy and debates. And nothing sparks more controversy than the VAR (Video Assistant Referee). With VAR making its European Championship debut in this tournament, you can also launch a “Was VAR Right?” campaign where you can show clips of controversial VAR decisions and add “YES” and “NO” buttons that lead to debates and discussions among other fans.
  • Player of the Tournament predictions,
  • Golden Boot winner predictions,
  • Team of the Tournament predictions,
  • Young Player of the Tournament predictions

#2: Replays, highlights, and player performance

Recent research conducted by an advertising company, MediaOcean, suggests that 68% of fans in Europe will watch highlights and replays of UEFA EURO 2020 matches online at least once a week.

Official websites and mobile apps of Football clubs should double down on this opportunity to engage their users. If a player from your club is playing at the national level, you can provide exclusive coverage about their performance. You can also build a profile for the player and fill it with data after each match. This profile, or Player Spotlight, can show a heat-map of the player’s movements during the game, points on the field where the player had successful tackles or dribbles, the total distance ran during the match, and clips of key passes and memorable moments.

If it is too late to invest in building a dedicated section to showcase this information, you can start creating blog posts and host them on your website or mobile app. These articles can be regularly updated after each match so your users can easily access the latest information.

#3: Loyalty rewards

No major Sporting event can go without bets. Hop on the trend and introduce a ‘Wheel of Fortune’ or a virtual Lottery Machine on your website or mobile app. You can give away official club merchandise as prizes.

Introduce loot boxes, each having a probability of containing official club and autographed merchandise. You can set up an achievement ladder with milestones that your users need to complete to claim their loot box.

The daily or monthly achievements can be successive logins, picking favourite teams or players, participating in your campaigns or a poll, inviting your friend and getting them to sign up, or even watching a match highlight. Remember, rewarding loyalty is the key to successful customer retention.

Achievement Ladder with a free giveaway as the prize
Achievement Ladder with a free giveaway as the prize

#4: Interactive puzzles and mini-games

A tiered system of awards is the best way to induce competition and encourage participation. Hyper casual mini-games like puzzles and guessing games are the easiest foundation to build a tiered award system on.

For example, you could show a jumbled-up logo of a national team and prompt users to assemble it. You can then build achievements that unlock depending on how quickly a user was able to reassemble the logo. Each game’s winner can be placed into multiple tiers based on these achievements, and each tier can have different awards.

Another idea for a fun game is where you can show national flags and logos of national teams, and your users get to match the corresponding images. As an added benefit, you can also add information and trivia about the origin of the logo so your users can learn something new while they play.

When your user levels up to a new tier, you can give them the option to share this with the rest of the world. Similar to how Spotify leverages single-click sharing options, you can convert your users to micro-influencers.

#5: Where’s Wally?

For those out of the loop, Where’s Wally is a widely famous series of puzzle books that most children have played, and still play, growing up in Europe. These puzzle books contain different locations where multiple characters are doing a variety of amusing things. The goal of the game is to find one specific character, Wally, hiding among them.

Th digital adoption of Where’s Wally? can be a great addition to your website or app. The nostalgia, the feeling to find something you know exists, and the challenge will all lead to faster adoption of this campaign. You can post a screenshot of the audience of any UEFA EURO 2020 match, and ask users to spot a specific fan, like the image below.

where's wally uefa euro 2020
‘Where’s Wally?’ game for the UEFA EURO 2020: Can you spot the fan in this image?

The award for finding the person can be one of your sponsored merchandise. Or, the prize can be extra points that directly impact the tier ranking system we spoke about earlier.

#6: “Which football fan are you?”

Consumers love personality tests and quizzes. Remember those Buzzfeed articles? Well, believe it or not, they’re still trending. You can create a questionnaire of eight to ten questions, and give a few options for each question. The responses can be mapped to a set of “fan personalities”, each with its unique avatar.

This quiz, “which football fan are you?” can be hosted on your website or app, and depending on the user input, you can show them the avatar toward the end. To increase participation in this campaign, make sure you give them the option to share the results on social media platforms. Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter can be great channels for you to acquire more users and participate in this campaign.

To make it easier to respond to questions, you can also explore Tinder’s famous ‘Swipe’ mechanism. Users can easily swipe left or right to answer the quiz, reducing friction in the process.

Alright, so now you have some cool ideas to implement. What you need next is a way to tie them all in your retention strategy.

How can you retain Sports customers during UEFA EURO 2020?

We’ve launched a framework called Insight-led Engagement to help you retain more users. Following this growth flywheel will enable you to make educated, data-driven decisions. Check out the detailed explanation below:

Insight-led Engagement framework for Sports brands

Step 1: Analyse

Create advanced user segments. Categorise customers based on their behaviour on your website or mobile app. Create a segment of users who’ve been accurate with most of their predictions and are high on the leaderboard, build a segment of fans who’re participating during matches of a particular country – you get the idea. Then, add a second dimension of filters, like times of the day or the week during which these users are the most active, the channel they’re using to visit your platform the most, and so on. Segmenting users this way will allow you to send relevant messages.

Step 2: Personalise

Send personalised communication. By leveraging the information you’ve gathered through segmentation, create relevant micro-moments on and off your platforms. Avoid sending generic communication to the entire user base at once as a broadcast. Instead, customise each message for each segment, based on the behaviour and preferences of the users in that segment. Personalisation doesn’t have to stop here. Send messages on the time and day when your users are most active to increase engagement and use the digital channel they prefer.

Step 3: Engage

Build a scalable engagement plan. Your users spend most of their waking hours in front of a screen – mobile or desktop or connected television. Start your initial communication with Sports fans on Emails or Text messages. If you have a mobile app, then use Push Notifications or In-app interstitials. You can also engage them via Website messages and banners. Of course, it goes without saying, you’ll have to adhere to GDPR policies and avoid spamming your users.

Step 4: Retain

Run omnichannel retention campaigns. Once you’ve started the initial communication, it is time to build a customer journey and combine the rest of the available digital channels into one seamless experience. For example, you cannot send an email and show an advertisement on Facebook with conflicting messages. You should, instead, use different channels to nudge your users into taking the next step on your platform.

We wish you luck with your campaigns!

Related resources and further reading