The big day had finally arrived when Euro 2016 kicked off at the Stade de Paris, France, on Friday, 10 June. For the first time, this 2016 championship includes 24 teams compared to the usual 16, meaning more visitors and bigger audiences.
More than one billion fans tuned in to watch the final of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and the European Championship isn’t far behind.
Nonetheless the Euro Cup is not just about football. Its global attention necessarily implies a lot of work for the branding departments: there are many layers of complexity in terms of what your designs need to achieve. “It isn’t like branding a normal event,” says Miguel Viana, now an independent designer who previously worked on branding the Euro 2016 and the World Cup 2018 at the Portuguese agency Brandia Central. “You’re not just trying to promote a sport, you’re also building a destiny for a city, a region, a nation. This is what suddenly transforms a project into an intricate and complex puzzle.”
Brandia Central’s identity for the Euro 2016 is a great example of these principles in action, combining themes of festivity, football and France. Intriguingly, the team chose to represent the host nation through its strong tradition in arts. Consequently, the logo design incorporates – although subtly – representations of several historic art movements, including fauvism, abstractionism, art deco and avant-garde.
Linking art and football is a smart move on Brandia’s part, considering the idea that the game is form of art in itself (the working concept was ‘Celebrating the Art of Football’). Meanwhile, the red, white and blue colour scheme and the centrality of the Henri Delaunay cup signify ‘Frenchness’ and football in a more obvious fashion, and the brightness and the verve of the design tie it all together in a suitably festive manner.
Moving the focus from the Euro Cup branding to its biggest sponsors, Carlsberg, Coca Cola and Adidas are the three main brands, which, through their innovative design and packaging, are representing the European Competition this year.
Carlsberg UK has designed a “striking” limited edition packaging for its Carlsberg and Carlsberg Export beers, as it is involved in the UEFA European Championships as a sponsor for the eighth consecutive time. The packs feature the official UEFA Euro 2016 branding to create an on-shelf standout and reinforce the brand’s status as official beer of the tournament. They feature a “vibrant mix” of the brand’s classic green, combined with the tournament’s “eye catching” official colour scheme of red, blue and white.
Carlsberg Export features a premium gold and silver design, showcasing a football boot crafted with studs, which are replaced by iconic French landmarks including the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe.
To celebrate the fans and enthusiasts, Coca-Cola deploys a dedicated device to accompany the draw. After the launch of its bottles in the colors of PSG and series on Team France Football, the event partner introduces a bottle that is displaying proudly the UEFA Euro trophy. It shows beautiful graphics and is very colorful. Furthermore it received a satin finish and it is adorned with the bright red color of both the Coca-Cola and the UEFA Euro 2016 logo.
Another version of the famous Coca-Cola bottle has been created to support the French team, representing a series of 11 aluminum bottles bearing the image of the 11 players of Team France. For the most passionate fans of ‘Les Bleus’, the bottles are available at Carrefour, which, like Coca-Cola, is a partner of the French Football Federation.
The third biggest sponsor of the Euro Cup, Adidas, has hired Marcos Aretio, a very famous Spanish designer known as ‘Markmus Design’, in order to create a limited edition packaging design for the “Adidas Euro 2016 Collectors Kits”. The kits include both the home and the away jerseys for the Spanish, German and Russian teams and the frames can be opened and closed with the help of magnets in order to show the jersey.
As you can see from the examples mentioned above, the influence of design in the world of sport is far-reaching. Where image and aesthetics are involved, so is design, and where new materials emerge, aesthetics and design soon follow.
In a highly competitive marketplace, design that makes a product more attractive and appealing to consumers plays a critical role in adding commercial value and making the product more marketable. This is particularly true when it deals with an event like the Euro Cup, the second most watched football tournament in the world after the FIFA World Cup.
What else is there to say? Just enjoy the Championship and may the best team win!
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