Saturday, 9 July 2016

EURO 2016: Branding and Marketing Lessons For Sportswear Firms

One match is left at Euro 2016, and it is to decide who the true king of Europe is. On Sunday in Paris, host France and surprising Portugal play for the right to call themselves champions.

Aside from the games and the beautiful stadia filled with thousands of fans, one of the main talking points of the tournament was about the quality, functionality and design of jerseys worn by the players.

During the Swiss team's 0-0 draw with France it was quite funny how easily and often the Switzerland's jersey manufactured by Puma tore when tugged by opponents. New Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka had to signal for a new shirt twice, while Breel Embolo, Valon Behrami, Admir Mehmedi, Fabian Schar, and Blerim Dzemaili all changed once as their jerseys were ripped in the match.

The debacle caused Switzerland star Xherdan Shaqiri to remark: "I hope Puma does not produce condoms."

In the build-up to the tournament, attacker Embolo had to change his top in the friendly against Montenegro, and the Basel attacker said after the France match: "We have had a few problems with the jersey. The kit manager is not fully ready yet, but we are."

However, the sports apparel company, in a statement issued the following day of the match apologised to the Swiss federation and players for the "very unfortunate incident." Puma says the problem affected "only a limited number" of shirts, which are a mix of elastane and polyester fibres and made in Turkey.

"There was one batch of material, where yarns had been damaged during the production process, leading to a weakening in the final garment," the company said. "This can happen, if the combination of heat, pressure and time is not properly controlled in the manufacturing process."

Puma supplies shirts to five European Championship teams, including Italy.

Its main rival, Adidas, also had an equipment issue during Sunday's match in Lille. The "Beau Jeu" ball designed especially for Euro 2016 burst open when two players converged on it in a second-half challenge.

Like the Leicester adventure, Iceland's stellar performance shocked the world especially when the north Atlantic country eliminated England with a 2-1 victory in the last 16 on Monday, June 27.

The result cost England manager Roy Hodgson his job and meant more orders for Sport Company Ehf, Iceland’s official jersey distributor, and Errea, the Italian sportswear company that makes the jersey.

Branding Lesson

While it is good to be innovative, it is very important to be conscious of implementing innovation.
German tabloid Bild, claimed that Switzerland players are wearing extra-thin shirts to stimulate "micro-massages" on the skin in order to encourage blood flow. Puma has made some of the best jersey over the years but need to be more conscious as attention in the game gets more competitive even among apparel companies.

It is a tradition to unveil a new ball for major tournaments. And this is not the first time adidas' tournament football will be an issue of debate and disenchantment. For example, the Jabulani, official 2010 South Africa World Cup ball generated lot of dissatisfaction. The "Beau Jeu" ball designed especially for Euro 2016 burst open when two players converged on it in a second-half of a match. This further makes some analysts and fans question the quality of the round leather produced by adidas.

Marketing Lesson

UEFA says broadcast rights earned just over 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion); sponsorship and licensing deals were worth 480 million euros ($530 million); and sales of tickets and hospitality earned 400 million euros ($441 million).

Spending by UEFA on Euro 2016 included 650 million euros ($718 million) on organizing the event; 301 million euros ($333 million) in team prize money; and 150 million euros ($168 million) to clubs for releasing their players.

Just as the marketing opportunities are enormous, any marketing blunder can be an advantage for competitor brand to capitalize upon. The media attention on the game means both football enthusiasts and potential customers could have access to the information. This is both an advantage in terms of brand awareness and disadvantage in terms of competition edge.

If TV audiences are anything to go by, the 330,000 people who live in tiny Iceland are clearly soccer-mad. The match between Poland and England was watched by no fewer than 99.8 per cent of the country's TV audience. And so when it was time for Sport Company Ehf, Iceland’s official jersey distributor, and Errea, the Italian sportswear company that makes the jersey were to take advantage of the moment, they couldn't because they never prepared for such opportunity. One match is left at Euro 2016, and it is to decide who the true king of Europe is.

2 comments:

  1. You've made me laugh with the condoms. I'm not a football fan but I might want to see a match, looking at it differently after reading your post.

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  2. Estou alegre por encontrar blogs como o seu, ao ler algumas coisas,
    reparei que tem aqui um bom blog, feito com carinho.Posso dizer que gostei do que li e desde já quero dar-lhe os parabéns, decerto que virei aqui mais vezes.
    Sou António Batalha.
    Que lhe deseja muitas felicidade e saúde em toda a sua casa.
    PS.Se desejar visite O Peregrino E Servo, e se o desejar siga, mas só se gostar, eu vou retribuir seguindo também o seu.
    http://peregrinoeservoantoniobatalha.blogspot.pt/

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