Written by Kianna Best on Jul 20, 2022. Posted in Awards and Festivals

Advertising campaigns for Women’s Euro 2022 shift commercial narrative around women’s sports

As the 2022 UEFA Women’s Euros are well underway, advertising campaigns surrounding the sporting event are continuing to portray a new perspective of women and sports. From fans to players, women are shown as passionate and persevering in the broadcasted commercials across television and social media. Brands such as EE, Nike and Heineken are taking advantage of the growing viewer demographic and the more socially conscious direction that advertising has been taking.


Image courtesy of W+K


With a five-year gap, due to the pandemic, between the 2017 championship held in the Netherlands and this year’s England-hosted event, demand for the competition has been high. Expecting 87,200 spectators to attend the Wembley final, this figure is but a fraction of those who have tuned in to the matches across the world. Television rights have been sold across Europe, North and South America, north Africa, and Asia, bringing in an international viewership of 250 million.


In accordance with the growing fan base and increasing attention on the championship, EE, Nike, and Heineken have rolled out a series of empowering advertising campaigns. From tackling sexism, showing the multidimensionality of women in sport, and blurring the lines between supporters and gender stereotypes, these brands have shown a more conscious approach to their marketing.


Image courtesy of W+K


W+K London were at the helm of the Nike campaign, spreading a message to “Never Settle”. Featuring familiar faces from the women’s football world, the campaign presents an intergenerational and international support system within the women's side of the sporting sector. Beyond the mainstream professionals, Nike also captured underground talents such as professional freestyler Rocky Hehakaija, who represents the future of football for women and the creation of new sports spaces.


Highlighting the inequalities between men’s and women’s football, EE displays prominent men’s football players taking the responsibility with regards to stopping sexist remarks towards female players. Creating their Hope United squad and partnering with Hatelab, the brand is hoping to spread awareness and encourage male players and supporters to stand up to online hate messaging.


Image courtesy of EE Hope United


Heineken’s multi year deal with the UEFA Women’s Euros has resulted in a rollout of campaigns that address gender biases amongst players and fans alike. Firstly, with mocking messaging of the “12th woman”, the brand makes use of Ellie Taylor, Harry Redknapp, AJ Odudu, Karen Carney and Jermaine Jenas to encourage the public to rally behind their national teams in the same way that is done for the men's teams. In addition, Heineken offers a “cheers to all fans”, displaying the dedication of female football supporters who often go unacknowledged amongst the fan fare of other male dominated championships.


Advertising for the Women’s Euro is amongst the many more socially conscious marketing strategies of brands and advertising agencies that are taking a stance against gender equality and bringing about environmental awareness. With big winners at Cannes Lions 2022 having more sentimental messaging behind their brand promotion, the mentioned campaigns are following the potential shift in the future of advertising.


Image courtesy of Heineken                                                                                                                                

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