How Orange Is Achieving Its Euro 2016 Marketing Goals

by Duncan MacRae

Orange is one of 10 official Euro 2016 sponsors. Donna Soane, head of global sponsorship and partnerships at the telecoms firm, explains how the brand is being promoted around the tournament.

What digital marketing activities has Orange been engaged in relating to Euro 2016?

Digital activation has always been at the very heart of our campaign because social is where the action off the pitch really takes place. The objective of the partnership is to be as accessible as possible so that everyone can feel involved, whomever they are and wherever they are in the world. Orange Sponsors You is based on a simple premise, to shine the spotlight on the fans and make them the real stars of our sponsorships, like UEFA EURO 2016.

The Orange Sponsors You TV campaign was first launched on digital, two days before it reached TV screens. Featuring Zinedine Zidane as the chief fan recruiter for Orange, the TV campaign uses the notion of dramatically reversing the usual power relationship between fans and players, with our ‘recruiter’ sending his scouts out to help Orange search for the best and most passionate fans around the world. The advertising campaign is also supported by an immersive 360 degree film which features across digital channels, allowing fans to truly experience being in the spotlight.

How did you devise your digital marketing strategy?

Orange Sponsors You is our new approach to sponsorship, one that puts our fans and customers centre-stage, starting with UEFA EURO 2016. The strategy was based on the recognition that while all major players during the tournament are sponsored by brands, being a fan is an equally important role which at points can feel like a one way street. Digital channels are a perfect way to be able to rally fans, to listen and respond to them with the rewards and the recognition they deserve, and to really make them feel a part of the action.

The #OrangeSponsorsYou main digital campaign for UEFA EURO 2016 has two main pillars of activation:

–              Show your support

–              Share your passion

Firstly, we are asking for people to support and vote for their country on social media through posting relevant messages with their country’s hashtags on match days. The more support fans show could ultimately contribute to lighting up the Eiffel Tower every match day evening in the flag colours of their chosen country.

Before, during and after the tournament we are also recognising people’s passion on social.  If this passion is recognised by our team of moderators, fans will have the chance to win Euro related merchandise and tickets. The most passionate fans will be lucky enough to be treated as stars with a VIP experience to the final. After the tournament, the fans will be celebrated for their contribution to the game.

When did you begin these digital marketing activities?

Digital marketing activation started on April 14th 2016 and has formed a major part of our overall investment.

How are you measuring ROI on the time, effort and money spent on your digital marketing?

Primarily through reach and engagement tracking. Our messaging is consistent throughout and the main portal supporting the activation is centralised on so this will help in gauging the impact of the campaign.

What kind of response have you had so far?

Positive. We will have a more accurate picture once the tournament is in full swing, as this is when our digital activations really come to life.  We think the approach is the right one to evoke a high level of engagement.

What other kind of marketing activities are you engaged in around Euro 2016?

Orange is at six out of the 10 fanzones in France, offering engaging fan experiences in virtual reality. Outdoor screenings will also be held in multiple Orange markets both in Europe, MEA and the Caribbean for those who want to be in on the action, but are unable to get to the matches themselves.

Throughout the tournament, we will have given away over 3000 tickets and 200 warm up experiences where fans have the opportunity to see players warm up pitch side. Our exclusive Fan Of The Match programme recognises fans in the stadium throughout the tournament, with one passionate fan being chosen every match and celebrated on the Giant Screen at half time and given their own trophy pitch-side at the end of the match.

The whole campaign has also been underpinned by base marketing offers across our footprint, offering customers relevant rewards and services to improve their UEFA EURO 2016 experience.  Whether it is a roaming offer to call friends and family whilst in France or extra GB’s for goals to be able to enjoy more of the football, Orange Sponsors You allows Orange to recognise, empower and reward every fan as a unique individual.

What advice would you give to other companies about how to develop a successful digital marketing strategy around a major event?

Devise a strategic approach with clear genuine ambition and define the role digital has to play within it.