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June 11, 2008

Euro 2008 - a winner for sponsors

I have spent a number of hours on my break watching the opening rounds of Euro 2008, the soccer tournament pitting 16 of the best national teams in Europe.

Ringed around the pitch (that's the field for those Americans unwilling to understand proper football terminology) are ads for addidas, Coca-Cola, McDonald's, Mastercard and others.

According to a Forbes article published about a week ago, those ads are likely to be big winners for the companies who place them.

They are going to need to pay off because the amount they have paid is overwhelming.

So far UEFA, the European soccer's governing body, has seen huge revenues from the games. Sponsors and broadcasters are providing sales of $2.0 billion, 35.0% more than the previous 2004 tournament in Portugal.

What does that number mean? The Superbowl is the U.S. longtime standard for advertising sales, where 30-second spots go for near $3 million.

Yet, in 2007, according to the TNS Media Intelligence numbers, the Superbowl only brought in $151.5 million in ad revenue. Sure, it is a one time, 3-plus-hour event versus an almost month-long contest with multiple matches, but it is the event in the U.S. (2008 numbers weren't available)

Or is it.

Based on the same numbers, the final three games of the NCAA basketball tournament in 2007 produced more ad revenue ($168.4 million). Yes, it is three games compared to one, but it was three games where the final result was almost a guarantee given the strength of the Florida team that season.

In terms of just rights and sponsorship, a previous Forbes article rated the Superbowl as the most valuable sporting event, at $379 million. That might be a more equal comparison for the $2.0 billion number.

However, the $2.0 billion taken in by UEFA is still a staggering $105 million per day of the tournament, nothing to sneeze at when some of the largest countries in the world don't take part, and one of those, the U.S., normally couldn't care less about soccer.

Congrats go out to UEFA.

This entry is tagged: advertising, Euro 2008, Forbes, soccer, sports, Superbowl

Posted by bmiraski at June 11, 2008 2:54 PM