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Partnering with UEFA EURO 2024™ to score big for brands

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Football is the most popular sport in the world and UEFA EURO 2024™ is no exception. With billions of fans tuning in, it’s a golden opportunity to showcase our brands. We look at how Hellmann’s and Rexona are building brand power and consumer engagement during the tournament.

A graphic illustration of a UEFA stadium using geometric shapes in bright colours and patterns against a blue background.

When it comes to brand awareness and consumer reach, there’s a lot to play for during the UEFA EURO 2024™ Championship.

Kicking off last month, the tournament involves 24 countries over 31 days of games and is expected to draw an audience of 5 billion – watching from stadiums, homes and sports bars around the world.

Football is the most popular sport in the world[a] and provides an incredible opportunity for consumer engagement. And as an official partner, Unilever brands from across the business will have a presence – including Knorr, Hellmann’s and Calvé from Nutrition and Rexona, Dove Men+Care and Axe from Personal Care.

Below, we look at how Rexona and Hellmann’s, in particular, are leveraging the moment to build brand power and reach a breadth of consumers.

Making our brands unmissable across a variety of channels

Hellmann’s is kicking off its ‘Up Your Game’ UEFA EURO 2024™ advertising campaign by inviting consumers to elevate their BBQ menus with the brand’s premier line-up of mayonnaises, mustards and burger sauces.

Featuring football stars like Germany’s Joshua Kimmich and Italy’s Federico Chiesa, the campaign is connecting with fans across TV, stadium concession stands, out-of-home billboards, in-store promotions and on-pack competitions.

With a prime-time spot, it’s the biggest advertising campaign ever launched by our Nutrition business and is aimed at meeting consumers wherever they are watching the matches.

As restaurants, sports bars and cafés look to maximise food spend during the tournament, Unilever Food Solutions is supporting them with its professional range of front- and back-of-house products.

These include improved Hellmann’s Vegan and the new Professional mayo, designed for maximum stability in all applications. In addition, UFS chefs have developed a range of bite-sized recipes, sharing tailored tips to help hospitality make the most of the extra footfall.

Social platforms are also playing a key strategic role, providing our football ambassadors with the opportunity to engage more directly with fans. Chiesa and Kimmich are among the stars sharing food favourites – including the all-important issue of burger topping preferences.

Football celebrities prepare for a BBQ with Hellmann’s winning line-up of flavoured mayos

The winning combination of food and football

“Football and food are a perfect match. Together they unite fans, families and friends,” says Heiko Schipper, Nutrition President.

“As UEFA EURO 2024™ is happening in the middle of our BBQ season, we see this as an opportunity to promote brands like Hellmann’s as being the season’s essential ingredient. Hellmann’s being the official BBQ partner is good news for our retail and food service customers too, helping to drive traffic and excitement in the condiments aisle.”

Lasting from April to September, BBQ season is the longest food event for our Nutrition brands in the northern hemisphere, so combining this high-demand occasion with the momentum of the UEFA EURO 2024™ offers a key opportunity to connect with existing, as well as new, customers.

It also provides enormous potential for penetration for our power brand Hellmann’s, as its top dishes – like burgers, salads and grilled meats – over-index during BBQ season, as do key strategic pack formats such as squeeze bottles.

With 77% of the BBQ shopping basket decided in-store,[b] remaining front of mind for consumers throughout the summer is critical to securing an advantage during this key season.

“What better way to achieve awareness and Dressings category sales than to showcase our products at UEFA EURO 2024™,” says Heiko.

Powering up our collective brand power

In Personal Care, we are tapping into the universal appeal of football and the power of our products to drive unmissable brand superiority through multiple tailored activations.

Our UEFA EURO 2024™ campaign is the first time we have taken a portfolio approach, with point-of-sale campaign assets that feature products from across our Rexona, Dove Men+Care and Axe power brands. The 360-degree campaign includes feature displays in-store, gift packs, limited-edition products and fan experiences, including dedicated fan zones where consumers can engage and sample our brands.

“We are activating at scale across more than 24 countries and in over 130,000 stores. We will reach fans in, at, around and away from the game, giving consumers the chance to enjoy the tournament at home, while shopping, in fan zones and at the matches themselves,” explains Fabian Garcia, President, Unilever Personal Care.

“By activating across all media touchpoints, a portfolio approach enables us to use the collective power of our brands to activate in-store while simultaneously running bespoke campaigns with their own tone of voice and across their own brand channels,” says Fabian.

An ad for Rexona 72-hour deodorant with an image of footballer Ferran Torres kicking a ball in front of a neon Rexona check logo.

Bringing the Heat with Rexona

The world’s No.1 antiperspirant and deodorant brand, Rexona, is also a key tournament presence, thanks to its ‘Bring the Heat’ advertising campaign, showcasing the unrivalled passion that both players and fans bring to the games.

Leveraging the support of football celebrities, including Spain’s Ferran Torres, England’s Cole Palmer and Germany’s Toni Kroos, the campaign encourages both players and fans to give their best, while promising them that Rexona will provide the non-stop protection to do so with confidence.

Rexona engaged with fans both on and off the pitch, offering consumers in Spain, Germany and the Netherlands the chance to win a VIP experience at UEFA EURO 2024™. Winners enjoyed tickets to the quarter-final match in Hamburg and the opportunity to play on a tournament pitch, followed by a meet-and-greet with football legends.

Rexona is also hosting a Play on Pitch event in Munich, granting European influencers an exclusive tour of the Allianz Arena. This unique experience allows fans to step onto the same turf where their idols play. The event hosted by Rexona follows the first one ever done at the FIFA Women’s World Cup ™ in Sydney last year.

[a]

Global Web Index; all adults aged 16–65 in 15 markets (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Spain, Sweden, UK); wave: Q4 2022; N: ~70,000.

[b]

Kantar BBQ Occasions & Kantar Total Foods Shopper Missions 2022.


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