Euro 2016: How McDonald's Is Winning At Sports Marketing


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Fast Food Chain Uses Player Escorts To Appeal To Our Hearts

Euro 2016, Europe's biggest soccer tournament (or "football" as they say across the pond) never fails to bring in massive brand sponsors as it is watched by millions of people around the globe. Despite American opinions, it is actually the most popular sport in the world globally.  Adidas, Coca-Cola, Hisense, Continental, and Kia are all official partners of the most-watched soccer tournament behind the World Cup. 

One brand in particular, McDonald's, has taken an interesting and new approach to their sponsorship of the games with their Player Escort program - and it's catching the world's attention.  In fact, it is a great example of a brand winning at sports marketing.  In this blog, Hollywood Branded examines what makes McDonald's brand sponsorship of the Euro 2016 games stand out as one of this year's big sports marketing wins. 


What Are The McDonald's Player Escorts?

The Player Escorts program is an opportunity for young soccer fans from all over Europe to participate in the championship by escorting their favorite players on and off of the field. 

How do they get picked? Well, parents were encouraged to send in photographs of their children showing how much they love their team and the sport in general. A lucky few were chosen to accompany their idols on the field during various matches in France where the championship is being held.


What Sets Their Sponsorship Apart?

Quite simply, the thing that sets their sponsorship apart is the "aww-factor." Who doesn't love watching a small child meet their hero and be able to escort them onto the field in front of millions of spectators and viewers at home?  This is where dreams come true and amazing life moments that will impact the future are realized.

While McDonald's is still using TV spots, ads and branding at the stadiums, this tactic sets them apart and makes them memorable to the viewer - as well as nabbing a few nonchalant celebrity appearances.


European soccer players are massive celebrities throughout their home country, Europe and the rest of the world. Watching an adorable 7-year-old hold Cristiano Ronaldo's hand as he walks onto the field followed by the McDonald's sign on the screen is a picture-perfect moment for the brand.  It also humanizes these players, and makes them more relatable.

McDonald's Didn't Just Sponsor - They Appealed To Hearts Around The World

It's one thing to sponsor an event. It's another thing to participate and become involved in it. Material from their sponsorship, publicity surrounding the contest and the program itself have all earned the burger chain an immense amount of publicity.

Check out some other brands getting involved in international sports during the 2016 Olympic games in Rio in our blog here.


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