Behind The Scenes

The beautiful game captured in ESPN’s EURO 2012 posters

For one month, the world will stop to watch as Europe’s most talented soccer players compete on behalf of their countries in EURO 2012.

ESPN has you covered with 200 hours of live coverage across ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes with simulcasts in both English and Spanish on ESPN3 and WatchESPN.Today at noon ET, Spain meets Italy; at 2:45 ET, Ireland plays Croatia.

Leading up to the competition, ESPN Marketing has been hard at work promoting EURO across the country. Its integrated television, print and digital campaign celebrates “one month” of exciting soccer with a special focus on the unique identity of each competing team.

While television spots highlight the teams from Spain, Portugal, Netherlands and Germany, ESPN’s poster campaign features each of the 16 participating teams.

The posters, a few of which can be viewed in the gallery above, have been distributed by street teams at key soccer bars and establishments across the country.

ESPN Front Row talked to Bryan McAleer, associate director, sports marketing, to learn more about the posters and the entire EURO campaign.

How do the posters capture the spirit of EURO?
The posters attempt to capture powerful images of players who can inspire the fans. There’s very much a hero culture in the sport and we wanted to highlight the spirit of each country by elevating the players. The posters are also unified by our “one month” theme. For example, Portugal’s poster features Cristiano Ronaldo with the tagline, “one month where country comes first.” In his case, it’s the story of a professional player returning to represent his country. We’re trying to tap into the national pride at the heart of this competition.

What is the strategy behind the overall campaign?
The overarching strategy is to raise attention and awareness for a fantastic tournament especially for our fans here in the United States. We really wanted to get fans to pick a side and choose a country, whether it’s your family’s lineage or a favorite player. Pick a side and root for a team this summer. With each team, we also tried to capture a bit of their essence and those unique identities permeated across all of our creative. What’s their style? What do they stand for? What does this mean to the team, the country and their fans? That was the story we wanted to tell and it fed into our approach to the entire campaign.

How did you integrate your “one month” theme into this execution?
One month really serves as the unifying factor or our call to action. It’s the baseline for all of our creative. It allowed us to unify these 16 different nations, who are each very different in style, with a singular goal. For one month, the world stops and turns their eyes to EURO. Each team has a finite amount of time to win the championship. It also tells our fans that for one month, you can be consumed by this amazing event. The “one month” theme also allowed us to connect our print and television creative into a singular rallying cry. It’s a simple statement but it tells a complex story.

How do the posters and street teams fit into overall efforts to reach the Hispanic sports fan?
We worked closely with our Deportes team to identify where, when and how we should reach out to Hispanic fans given that this is a European tournament. We decided to highlight the team from Spain using Spanish language messaging and target fans and key influencers in New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco at soccer bars with our bilingual street teams. We also tied those efforts to Portugal very closely too because Ronaldo is such a huge, global soccer icon.

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