On the 9th June Adobe Digital Index (ADI) will release its analysis and predictions for digital traffic linked to UEFA Euro 2016 competition. The report puts the European football championship in the context of other major sporting events and looks at how consumer behavior around such events should be understood and used by marketers.
ADI is predicting that from the first kick-off, mobile visits to event advertiser sites will rise by 30%. This figure has been derived through the examination of what happened during the Football World Cup in Brazil in 2014, and the growth of mobile usage in the intervening 2 years. Consumers are increasingly turning to a mobile device to accomplish tasks both during and outside of major sporting events. This narrative is fascinating and vitally important for brands who wish to connect to their audiences better.
It is clear that major sporting events like Euro 2016 are truly global affairs. Social mentions of Euro 2016 are already showing this, with 43% of all mentions to date coming from the US. A similar pattern emerged during the French Open Tennis competition over the last couple of weeks, where 51% of mentions originated in the US. Marketers have an enormous opportunity in these events to connect with large global audiences, despite the fact that they occur within European countries.
What is, perhaps, more important is how consumers engage with these events. In the US, the NFL saw a 12% increase in mobile traffic between season 14-15 and the preceding year – and this increase is accelerating. Sporting events and mobile are becoming increasingly intertwined. Organizers are opening up new ways of viewing their event, creating new products and driving viewers into ever more engaged ways of watching. UEFA plans to use Periscope, Snapchat and Facebook Live to enhance their coverage and to give fans new access to the players and activity around the event. The vast majority of these initiatives are focused on creating mobile experiences.
ADI has pulled in data from their ‘2015 Best of the Best EMEA’ survey which shows that European consumers already report frequently switching devices whilst viewing video and streaming activity. The data shows 48% of European consumers admitted to this behaviour. Again this is a reference that marketers will need to heed. If brands are going to be able to understand and measure the effectiveness of their campaigns they will need to be prepared to capture points of engagement across multiple devices.
When it comes to the specifics of the event, ADI analyzed sentiment about the teams and the players involved. The weighted data shows that on social, commentators think Germany will be the likely winners with England and Spain 2nd and 3rd most likely to win. By far the most talked about player in the run up to the competition is Arsenal and Germany’s Mesut Ozil.
Whoever comes through the 51 matches of Euro 2016 there are three things that are assured:
- It will be a fascinating competition with new stars made and old stars falling by the wayside
- The competition will reach a global audience in a hitherto unseen way
- Audiences will flock to mobile to view it
The ADI data shows that audiences and event organizers are changing their habits at a rate faster than marketers are responding. The challenge for marketers all around the world is to respond to these changes, to understand the global nature of events like Euro 2016 and in particular to recognize how mobile viewing has become the core driver for audience growth and engagement.
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