A perfect pitch: how brands can get creative during major international football tournaments

Estimated read time 4 min read

The Tenth Man MD Gethin Evans explains how to make marketing efforts stick during Euro 2024 amid an increasingly competitive and regulated environment
The post A perfect pitch: how brands can get creative during major international football tournaments first appeared on EGR Intel.  

With Euro 2024 just around the corner, football fever is about to take over. This provides a golden opportunity for gambling companies to get creative with their marketing.

Here, Gethin Evans, managing director of The Tenth Man, shares his advice on how to take a risk without receiving a red card.

Try to reach everyone

The one golden rule that bookmakers should embrace during these tournaments is to create a campaign that reaches new, existing and lapsed customers in equal measure.

This means a cocktail of media, content marketing, brand activation and simple promo call to action. It’s about casting a wide net while ensuring your message is resonant but also relevant.

Everyone gets swept up in major international football, particularly when the home nations perform well, so be sure to have a campaign that caters for everyone.

Avoid the budget trap

One cardinal sin to avoid is blowing your entire budget on direct response campaigns or on something that doesn’t obviously align with your core value proposition. Sure, pay-per-click (PPC) ads can be effective, but they lack the emotional punch and long-term brand building that creative campaigns can offer.

Instead, invest in ideas that ladder back to what your brand stands for, while creating an impression that lasts long after the final whistle.

Location, location, location

Euro 2024 being held in Germany offers a plethora of creative opportunities. Germany’s rich sporting heritage and vibrant culture provides fertile ground for innovative campaigns. Think about blending sporting prowess with cultural touchstones to hit that sweet spot. This is what all marketers strive for: authenticity that resonates on multiple levels.

Gambling companies might be tempted to riff on England’s old rivalry with the Germans. This is fair game but is hardly breaking new ground. Try to move the conversation along and avoid well-worn clichés.

Keep it simple

With so many bookmakers vying for attention, how do you cut through the noise? Simple messages that authentically capture the zeitgeist for sports fans and bettors are essential. From overarching brand strategy to personalised CRM messages, hitting the right note at the right time is crucial. Think memorable and think shareable. Picture something that fans will want to talk about in their WhatsApp groups.

There is one marketing channel that stands out for its potential to deliver the best ROI: smart brand activation that turns into social assets. It’s not just about buying more PPC ads; it’s about creating buzzworthy moments that people can’t help but share. This kind of creativity, though challenging, offers unparalleled payback when done well.

Barriers to creativity

Regulation is a known hurdle in gambling marketing, but another significant barrier is handling the expectations of management. Creativity needs a top-down mandate to flourish. Leaders must prioritise innovative ideas, even if they come with fewer short-term guarantees. This is all about taking calculated risks for long-term rewards.

Small agencies, big ideas

There’s a growing trend of operators seeking out creativity and finding it at smaller agencies with sector experience. These nimble teams can hit the bullseye with fresh, innovative ideas while ripping down the red tape. In partnership with in-house teams, they can collaborate on campaigns that are both imaginative and effective.

A blast from the past

Looking back on tournaments gone by, some campaigns are unforgettable. Nicklas Bendtner’s lucky Paddy Power underpants at Euro 2012 spring to mind, as well as securing Professor Stephen Hawking as a brand ambassador for the 2014 World Cup. These audacious moves create lasting impressions and have set the bar for creative marketing across the gambling industry, simply by embracing new ideas and avoiding the pitfalls of traditional advertising.

The football will take care of itself. We recommend that gambling companies gear up and get creative, so that Euro 2024 is also a tournament to remember off the pitch.

The Tenth Man was founded in 2018 by the brains behind the iconic Paddy Power brand, Ken Robertson.

Lead betting and gaming partners include Fanatics in the US, PointsBet in Australia and Superbet – plus Guinness, Red Bull, AIG and many more in other sectors.

The Tenth Man delivers value creation through marketing with a team of 50 spread across offices in London and Dublin.

The post A perfect pitch: how brands can get creative during major international football tournaments first appeared on EGR Intel.


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