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  • Samantha Steadman

"Beyond the Field: How Retailers are Raising Their Game in the Summer Of Sport 2024"

As the 2024 Summer of Sport gears up with UEFA Euro 2024 kicking off tonight, retailers are rolling out dynamic campaigns and preparing to captivate fans and enhance their viewing experience. This season is brimming with excitement, highlighted by major sporting events such as the UEFA Euro 2024 in Germany, the Olympic & Paralympic Games and Tour de France taking place this Summer. From engaging ad campaigns that unite fans and amplify each tournament’s excitement and record-breaking sales predicted of high-definition TVs to transform home viewing experiences, retailer’s efforts are enhancing and embracing the way we watch and celebrate sports.

Join us as we dive into how top retailers are contributing to an unforgettable Summer of Sport in 2024.


Retailers for £2.1Bn Boost During Euros 2024[1]


According to a new report by vouchercodes.co.uk on spending during the Men’s UEFA Euro 2024, 35.4 million supporters are expected to tune into the tournament either in their homes or at bars, pubs and restaurants, with a huge 30.7 million to be watching at least one match from home.


UK retailers are set to bring 23.6 million shoppers through their doors with sales expected to reach £2.1 Billion – a £0.5 Billion or 31% increase on the 2022 Football World Cup. With the tournament taking place in Germany this year, the favourable kick off times and (fingers crossed) warmer weather also leads to an expected 4.2 million viewers to spend £70.8 million on garden cooking products such as pizza ovens, BBQs or al-fresco dining accessories. Food and drink for celebrations is expected to account for £1.4 Billion of the total sales, with events to watch the tournament together taking place either at home or at someone else’s home.


Spend is expected to peak during the group stages between 14th and 26th June, with another £238.1 million spent on Sportswear and £96.2 million on other merchandise.


Sports Direct Euros Campaign[2]


Sports Direct, Europe’s biggest retailer of sports and fitness footwear, clothing and equipment has launched its Summer 2024 ad campaign titled “Football Fever Starts Here.”


The ad features some of Europe’s biggest football stars and legends including Conor Gallagher, Jordan Pickford, Ruben Dias and Ian Wright and will roll out across TV, OOH, digital, in store and social media. The story unfolds in a local town, as Ian Wright drives the Sports Direct ice cream van, sparking “football fever” to begin in the town. The message conveyed is that football starts at Sports Direct, whether that be for those who play for fun, competitively or simply want to get behind their nation during the Summer of Football.


The UEFA Euros is one of the biggest international tournaments in the football calendar and the ad showcases the infectious nature and uncontrollable urge for the nation to come together in support of their team and how fans play a crucial role in the excitement and spirit of the tournament, beyond just watching the games.


Ger Wright, managing director of Sports at Frasers Group commented,  ‘‘Amidst a massive summer of sport with both the Euros and Olympics, our ‘Football Fever Starts Here’ campaign captures the passion and energy of the tournament’s true heroes: the fans. By placing our football stars directly into the unfolding excitement, we highlight the vital role fans play in the Euros journey. This campaign breathes life into the spirit of the Euros, establishing Sports Direct as the ultimate hub for football enthusiasts, offering the best products for fans to support their teams.’’


Alongside this ad campaign, Sports Direct will continue their “Monster Kickabout” initiative in partnership with Nike – a nationwide school football programme created to encourage more kids take up the sport by offering free resources and equipment to help teachers host a week of football during Youth Sport Trust’s National School Sports Week (17th-21st June).


Record Breaking Sales Predicted on TVs & AV Equipment


Argos has reported that it is expecting to sell more than 180,000 TVs during the 2024 Euros, forecasting it will sell four screens every minute throughout the duration of the tournament – the equivalent of filling Wembley Stadium twice over![3] John Lewis have also noted the increased demand for televisions ahead of the Euros with TV and AV sales skyrocketing 47% compared to the same period last year.[4]


The desire to watch sports on bigger TVs is also evident across both retailers with Argos reporting the average size of TV sold this year was 55”, up from 49” during the last tournament. John Lewis reported that shoppers are spending on average 13% more on their home entertainment set up and upgrading to larger screens – sales of 65” TVs have more than doubled and 70” screens are up by 123%. Katrina Mills, John Lewis’s lead TV & AV Buyer commented, ““Our customers clearly want to be immersed in great sporting action this summer, bringing the stadium experience to their sofas. They want a picture and sound quality to rival the real deal – and when it comes to TVs, it’s certainly the bigger, the better this summer”


Argos business unit director for seasonal, toys and electricals said of the predictions: “Major sporting events tend to be a time when we see sports fans upgrade their televisions and entertainment systems and similarly to 2021, we anticipate TV search demand to increase further following the kick-off of the 2024 football tournament. It’s clear that customers are looking for the best technology on the market and in 2024, the emphasis is on larger TV’s to really create the ultimate viewing experience at home.”


Sir Geoff Hurst “Blesses” Budweiser Beers Ahead Of Euros 2024[5]


Budweiser – the official beer and sponsor of the England Men's football team – has partnered with Sir Geoff Hurst to “bless” its beer with the winning spirit of England’s 1966 team. 12 million Budweiser cans have been redesigned and produced with the words “Let’s Bring It Home” emblazoned across the can along with the three lions crest and an inscribed blessing from Sir Geoff with his signature beneath.


For the campaign, Sir Geoff was reunited with his number 10 shirt which he wore when scoring a World Cup winning hat trick back in ’66. The shirt is usually on display in the National Football Museum and is insured for £4 million. The 60” cinematic advert shows Geoff blessing a tank of Budweiser at its brewer in Samlesbury in Preston and hanging his legendary shirt above the production line so every can gets “touched by greatness.”


Jessica McGeorge, global brands director at Budweiser commented, “We are honoured to launch the world’s first beer blessed by a legend. Sir Geoff has turned every can of Budweiser into a talisman of greatness for England fans. Replacing our beer’s name with ‘Home’ is testament to Budweiser’s support and belief in the Three Lions. As the tournament kicks off, greatness is England’s to take.”


Specsavers Translate Signature Slogan for Euros 2024 Ad Campaign[6]


UK optician and glasses retailer Specsavers have launched a new tongue-in-cheek ad campaign, where they have translated their famous slogan – “Should’ve gone to Specsavers” – into 24 languages, for each country competing in the UEFA Euros 2024.


Richard James, creative director of the optician’s in-house team Specsavers Creative, said:  “When referees make dodgy decisions, English football fans are able to use our famous slogan to vent their frustration – whether shouting it at the TV or typing it on Twitter. But we think it’s only fair that the phrase should be available for everyone, not just England fans. So we’ve created a fun idea that will hopefully raise a few smiles during the football. We’re always looking for unexpected ways to use our famous tag line, and ‘Should’ve Translations’ does just that.”


The ads will appear as full page advertisements in national newspapers showing flags of each nation alongside the translated slogan.


As the 2024 Summer of Sport continues to captivate audiences worldwide, the impact and efforts from retailers across the board is evident. Retailers are redefining the way fans engage with their favourite sports, enhancing the excitement of events like the UEFA Euro 2024. By uniting fans, elevating home viewing, and creating unparalleled shopping experiences in-store, retailer’s commitment to excellence and customer satisfaction ensures that this summer will be memorable for sports enthusiasts everywhere.

 


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