Hitting the Target: How Contextual Advertising Can Bring Euros Success for Brands


Euro Cup 2021, one of the biggest and hotly anticipated sporting events this summer, is finally here. With it comes a huge opportunity for brands to showcase their products to sports fans. In this article, Paul Thompson, UK and Netherlands country manager, Seedtag, talks about how companies can use contextual advertising to improve brand favorability and ROI during the sporting event.  

The UEFA Euro 2021Opens a new window tournament is hotly anticipated to be one of the biggest sporting events of the summer. Finally taking place a year on from its original date, excitement is rife as reigning champions, Portugal, look to defend their title. The teams have had an extra year to prepare for the June event, and at this point, it is anyone’s guess as to who will walk away as European Champions.

Following over a year of being locked indoors, appetite for sport is at an all-time high. In fact, consumers currently spend an average of over 7 hours a week consuming sports content. The previous Euros in 2016 achieved a viewership of more than 2 billion across the competition, generating over $2.13 billion in revenue (an average of $42 million per game). Expected to reach over 5 billion viewers this time around, Euro 2021 could very well surpass that amount — and then some.

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Making the Most Of Digital

As always, for an international tournament, fans will be glued to their screens. They will be praying for England to finally bring something home, watching France continue their international dominance, or witnessing a 36-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo remind the world once again that age is just a number. However, with a lot of buzz comes a lot of opportunities, particularly for brands in an increasingly digital-first world. Fans don’t just watch 90 minutes of football and switch off again. They obsess over everything — match previews, lineup predictions, injury reports, and post-game analysis.

Throughout the Euros, advertisers can leverage premium advertising inventory to enable them to associate their brand with the event. With the help of contextual AI, advertisers will be able to reach football fans by serving ads relevant to the Euros.

Away from the 22 players kicking a ball around the pitch, there is a huge amount of content for brands to capitalize on, and by placing ads in relevant publications such as Sky Sports, Football365 or HITC, brands can strike the right users with the right message at the right time. As a major event for sports fans, this 16th edition of the Euros is an opportunity for brands to reach a highly qualified audience.

Context Is Everything

Contextual advertising technology enables brands to target consumers based on the articles they read and the web pages they visit rather than their private data. It guarantees better efficiency than by leveraging cookies and presents a truly effective online advertising solution that is first and foremost respectful of the privacy of internet users.

Through the use of artificial intelligence (AI), contextual advertising automatically analyzes articles and web pages based on context — looking at subtle cues such as tone, sentiment and keywords — to understand which ads fit best into certain pages. From there, real-time software, such as Dynamic Placement Optimization (DPO), works to boost the performance of these ads. DPO finds the optimal placement for each advertisement to be delivered on a page, allowing advertisers to integrate their brand messages into relevant and premium content. As a result, the messages meet user eyes in a more efficient and effective manner. It maximizes user attention and can improve brand favorability by as much as 22%.

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Contextual advertising enables brands to build their advertising strategy around reliable data and display ads on specific areas within web pages, such as player portraits, match summaries, or schedules.

For brands, this means that they can rest assured, knowing that their ads will produce maximum return on investment (ROI) without being placed on questionable pages that contain negative content, which could potentially damage a brand’s image. Instead, ads can be served to the most relevant audiences in a way that complements the user experience, only positively impacting their feelings towards a brand and improving user attention.

A Campaign To Cheer For

With football being the most popular sport on the planet, international tournaments always garner huge attention. Between June and July, brands have a great chance to seize the opportunity and make the most of the hype around this year’s Euros. Contextual advertising allows brands to target the right audiences with the most effective messages at the right time.

For many brands, the Euros provides the perfect time, and contextual targeting can facilitate a strong ad campaign that will be seen by millions when executed correctly.