Euro 2012 sponsors on red alert over claims of racism

Euro 2012: football championships begin today (8 June)
Euro 2012: football championships begin today (8 June)

Sponsors of the 2012 Uefa European Football Championship are today (8 June) on red alert as they seek to avoid any association of their brands with reported cases of racism in the Ukraine during the tournament.

One sponsorship expert said Euro 2012 sponsors such as Carlsberg, adidas, Coca-Cola and McDonald's would want to be a "million miles" from any instances of racism during the tournament, which is being staged in the Ukraine and Poland, and begins today.

The expert said that recent press reports of racism would have sharpened sponsors' minds around "crisis management" and brands would now be discussing how to combat any possible harm to their brands.

Nigel Currie, director of sports marketing agency brandRapport, said: "This is obviously a concern for brands. It goes without saying they don't want any sort of controversy or nastiness, or anything that detracts from the game."

While there is no indication that Uefa sponsors are pulling back on activity because of the threat, there is a sense that the tournament has been overshadowed by the Olympics and the Queen's Jubilee, which has meant brands have found it difficult to get standout, say experts.

That said, experts believe that brands such as England football team sponsor Vauxhall have brought innovation to the market.

Vauxhall is running an internet TV show, featuring BBC pundit Steve Claridge, which will show behind-the-scenes footage of the England team during the tournament.

The show will run alongside Vauxhall's TV 'Supporting A Nation' campaign expected to be broadcast through the summer.

McDonald's, meanwhile, has launched a campaign that will support its 'Championship Menu'. The TV campaign, created by Leo Burnett, shows the highs and lows that football fans go through when watching international football.

Adidas has launched a new portal on the photo-blogging site Tumblr, which lets fans listen to podcasts and videos that feature adidas-sponsored players such as Lionel Messi and David Beckham.

Follow John Reynolds on Twitter @johnreynolds10


Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now


Oasis #springasmile digital campaign gets people doing good deeds
Coca-Cola: 'Don't approach bloggers with a fait accompli'
Tesco CMO Matt Atkinson: 'It is so important not to stereotype mothers'
McDonald's gives Ronald a new look ahead of global 'Fun times' social media push
In pictures: BrewDog opens first craft beer shop BottleDog for 'beer aficionados'
Facebook ad revenue leaps $1bn as it invests in targeting
Malteser or Maltesers? Mars takes Hershey trademark dispute to court
Apple Q2 profits top $10bn as iPhone sales soar
Lynx tells men not to leave love to fate
HBO captures awkwardness of watching sex scenes with parents
Primark to open first US stores with Boston chosen as flagship location
Marketing spend on the up but a reality check is needed before celebrating
Top 10 ads of the week: Jackpotjoy and BT Broadband fend off Kevin Bacon
Lidl beats Tesco to 10m Facebook fans
Center Parcs ad banned for encouraging parents to take kids out of school
Coca-Cola, Cadbury and Amazon named top brands for targeting youth market
Leaked document shows Nokia to be rebranded as Microsoft Mobile
Nike lays-off hardware staff in move that casts doubt on future of FuelBand
Greenpeace says save the bees or humans will die
What brands need to know about changes to VAT and online downloads in 2015
Jimmy Savile victims urged to claim compensation in new ad campaign
UKIP launches biggest  ad campaign and stirs up 'racist' accusations
Apple boss Tim Cook provides voiceover on ad touting firm's renewed green commitments
John Lewis walks consumers through its history to celebrate 150 years of business
Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers