Yes, it’s that time again…UEFA EURO 2020 is finally here, the soccer season is upon us, and it’s all happening 11 June to 11 July 2021!
You may have heard of UEFA EURO championships, but did you know you could use your favorite sporting event to make money as an affiliate marketer?
We’ll tell you exactly how to do just that, which verticals to promote to get the best ROI for the games, and which GEO will perform best for these kinds of campaigns! Just like with other big sporting events, you don’t even need to watch the games to be making a profit when they’re on.
So… sit back, relax and read this comprehensive guide on how to make money with affiliate marketing campaigns during UEFA EURO 2020 games!
Affiliate marketing guide to football events
If you’re a footie fanatic, feel free to skip this part of the article. We’re about to tell you all about the biggest football tournaments that happen globally, and why they’re fantastic to watch. Not to mention why they’re so fantastic to run your affiliate marketing offers with.
The World Cup
Let’s start with the biggest one — The FIFA World Cup tournament. This one happens every four years and consists of 32 countries that make it through the qualifying rounds of the tournament. In order to qualify, a particular country has to be a member of FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) which is the primary organization that runs this global event.
The last World Cup took place in Russia 🇷🇺 in 2018 and the next one will take place already next year in 2022 in Qatar! 🇶🇦 Stay tuned as this means there will be yet another great opportunity for affiliate marketers to make money. And whatever you learn here, you’ll be able to use it next year, too.
UEFA Champions League
Now, another competition that you might want to pay attention to is the UEFA Champions League. It is also a UEFA event, and the competition consists of the best football clubs in Europe. For example, the English Premier League, German Bundesliga, or the Spanish LaLiga. Mind this tournament accepts clubs from many different countries, and that they’re not limited by the player’s nationality but rather the club’s budget to afford the best players out there.
Not to be confused with UEFA Europa League
Then there is the UEFA Europa League which consists of teams that did not qualify for the prestigious Champions League. For example, this year Manchester United only managed to get into the Europa League instead of the Champions League. The winners of this league (Villarreal CF in the 2020/21 final) have the opportunity to be promoted to the Champions League in the following season.
🏆 UEFA EURO 2020 — What is it & why is it unlike any other soccer event?
Finally, we come to the one event that interests us the most. In short, UEFA EURO 2020 is a competition between the national teams. That’s why you will find players from some of the best-known clubs (like Bayern Munich or FC Barcelona or Liverpool FC) playing for their national teams, rather than the clubs they’re usually associated with.
Hence the biggest excitement of all! This event gathers the interest of not only soccer fans but of every European citizen. Even if one doesn’t normally follow the Champions League games, if it’s one country versus another, then there’s no way the game goes unnoticed. Think of the biggest and most exciting games in EUROs history like — Greece coming out of nowhere to win in 2004, that 4-0 victory over Italy in the EURO 2012 final for Spain, or even Denmark astonishing everyone by winning against Germany in 1992!
Since the first EURO game that started the tournament in 1960, European football championships occur every four years. Unfortunately, due to the ongoing pandemic of COVID-19, the 60th edition which was meant to happen in 2020 had to be postponed to the following year (same as the Olympic Games).
Given that the UEFA EURO games don’t come around very often, and as soccer is extremely popular in Europe, there will be tons of media and user attention surrounding it this year.
This means lots of brand awareness for the championships that affiliate marketers should use as a great opportunity to get in on the action and promote their products to people interested in these games already.
Now that you realize the difference between the biggest soccer events, and why the EURO tournament is so special, let’s focus on how to make the most of EURO 2020 for your affiliate marketing campaigns.
Is it EURO 2020 or 2021? [COVID-19 update]
Still, there might be one thing that seems really confusing… is it EURO 2020 or EURO 2021?
Well, things got a bit complicated when UEFA had to postpone the games by a year due to the coronavirus pandemic. But given the amount of effort and money put into the event’s branding and marketing (that was prepared already way before the year 2020 got us all by surprise), the institution decided to keep the original EURO 2020 naming.
That’s why keywords for this event need to be carefully checked and chosen. Some less football-oriented users might get lost in the marketing funnel by searching for the EURO 2021 or 2021 Championships (following the logic of the event taking place this year).
Or they might even confuse it with Europa League or the UEFA Champions League as these all sound like the same event.
That’s why affiliate advertisers need to make clear what event they refer to and choose their keyword targeting right. In that case, including the 2021 angle might be worth a shot.
- Do your football keyword research using tools like Keyword Tool, Google Trends, or, Keywords Everywhere.
- Test which UEFA event-related keywords work best for your campaigns.
- Check the community forums to see what offers and trends are discussed.
- Use spy tools to get a peek into what other affiliates do in regards to football events.
Due to the pandemic, various safety and health regulations have been put into place globally. Whether it’s about going to the shops or going to watch the big game. So, in order to have the safest experience for those participating in the EURO 2020 live events, including both the players on the pitch and the fans in the stands, there have been some changes to the way sports events are run.
To start off, the last edition, that is EURO 2016, was held in France and games took place across multiple stadiums throughout the country. This year, EURO 2020 will be held in eleven different countries, and stadiums. That’s one of the bigger differences from the previous games.
As you can see from the attached infographic, each country, city, and stadium has to follow different safety regulations. That’s why, to understand the scale of the event and how easy it is for soccer fans to see the live game, we’ve put all the essential information in one place.
And how does it help affiliate advertisers who are not flying in to any of these places to watch a game? Well, knowing what venues are the most or the least ticket-holder-friendly lets you plan your campaigns accordingly and avoid making mistakes.
- Check if the GEO you’d like to target with your travel offer accepts visitors at all.
- Check what GEOs don’t accept ticket-holders to promote Streaming offers there instead.
- See which locations are going to be the busiest with tourists to promote VPN services.
- Plan your e-commerce/travel campaigns according to travel restrictions. Hotel anyone?
How to benefit from the media coverage of EURO games?
The last EURO event in 2016 was an advertiser’s dream… with 2 billion TV viewers globally according to USA Today. And with most of the viewers unable to go see the matches in person this year, it is set to be the most viewed EURO Championships in history — both on TV and online. This obviously includes millions of fans outside of Europe, so they can’t be neglected when picking your GEOs for UEFA EURO 2020 offers.
The list of nations with an official broadcast of the Championships consists of 226 nations. Don’t worry, we haven’t included them all here as it’s rather a long list. But you can click here to see the full list of media outlets that will be broadcasting the games.
It’s usually two per country, and ESPN seems to be the most popular, with over 40 appearances on said list. Have a look to see which one is relevant to your home country and look out for offers promoting unofficial streaming of the games. There is always money to be made in this situation.
The top 5 biggest sports streaming sites that affiliates may use to make money from the EURO events are:
- Sony Liv (India & others)
- Fox Sports (U.S.A.)
- Stream2Watch (U.K. & others)
- Live Soccer TV (Global)
- StreamSports (Global)
You may need a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to access some of these sites whether they are on the UEFA official broadcaster or online alternatives. Luckily for you, some of your customers will need one too, as this is another popular affiliate product that can be offered to customers during the Championships. Some examples of popular VPNs are NordVPN, VyprVPN, or ExpressVPN.
So, whether you are promoting affiliate marketing products like TVs or computers to watch the big games on, or promoting streaming sites themselves, or VPNs to get access to them… make sure you cover the coverage of the games in your affiliate campaigns!
Advertising profits and gains from UEFA EURO 2020 [Data & Statistics]
According to Reuters, revenue at EURO 2016 increased by 34% to 1.93 billion euros ($2.13 billion) compared to EURO 2012 in Poland and Ukraine, as was officially reported to the European soccer’s governing body UEFA.
The increase came with the expanded format, from 16 to 24 teams, which led to more broadcasters buying television rights to the tournament. And more streaming sites popping up to promote it online.
A staggering 1.05 billion euros came from television rights, 480 million euros from sponsorship and licensing, and 400 million euros from ticketing and hospitality, according to UEFA.
Advertising profits are hard to quantify for every campaign that is related to the EURO events in some way, but some of the biggest campaigns make millions. Even a small slice of that action can be a fortune for an affiliate marketer.
Not only that, but the EURO tournament is a great opportunity for brand awareness for every product being marketed during the games — affiliate or otherwise. This is due to the sheer number of eyeballs glued to their screens in anticipation of the football results. Every one of them is a potential customer, waiting to be shown your products.
How to benefit from UEFA EURO 2020 as an affiliate marketer?
Just like any peak in the affiliate marketing calendar… or in fact the football calendar, the way to make a profit comes from your affiliate marketing training. That is from solid trial and error with your campaigns, to find out what works best with your niche and scaling that up. Sounds simple right?
Well, there are a few more steps, and you’ve got to be ready to learn from your mistakes.
The process to making money with any affiliate marketing campaign remains the same:
- Choosing your niche and offer.
- Signing up to your ad network aka affiliate traffic source.
- Choosing your ad format (whether it’s pop, domain, push, in-page push, or search)
- Optimizing your campaigns (RBO, GEOs, copy & creatives through a/b testing)
- Watching your ROI grow!
In the next section of the article, we have also provided examples of ad copy and creatives per vertical that might be useful to run during sporting events like UEFA EURO 2020. So, have a look at them and get ideas for your campaigns!
When and where will EURO 2020 take place? [Infographic]
As mentioned above, the games will be split across Europe in eleven countries. The teams will move but the fans will mostly be able to watch matches in their home countries or via TV or online.
But what you really want to know is which cities and countries will the EURO 2020 UEFA games be held in? Well, here’s the full list of stadiums and the group stage they will host:
- Group A: Italy (Stadio Olimpico in Rome)
- Group B: Russia (Saint Petersburg Stadium), Denmark (Parken Stadium, Copenhagen)
- Group C: Netherlands (Johan Cruijff Arena, Amsterdam)
- Group D: England (Wembley Stadium, London), Scotland (Hampden Park, Glasgow)
- Group E: Spain (Stadium La Cartuja Sevilla, Seville)
Group F: Germany (Fußball Arena München, Munich), Hungary (Ferenc Puskás Stadium, Budapest)It will all kick off at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, Italy which will host the opening game on June 11th.
As you can see from the infographic:
⚽️ The white cities host the Group and Knockout stages only.
🥉 The red cities the Quarterfinals.
🏆 And in gold is London, the semis and the final will be played on 6th-7th, and the 11th, respectively.
Keep these locations in mind when choosing your GEOs to target with your campaigns.
As you will have a guarantee that there will be interested users in these cities.
Selecting GEOs for your EURO 2020 affiliate marketing campaigns
As you can see above, Europe is a great place to start with your GEO targeting. These countries tend to have expensive traffic, though, so be careful of that.
From the data available to us on the last tournament in France in 2016, it was clear that France was a very good GEO to target. They had lots of traffic being bought there during the month that the games were on.
We recommend you look at traffic in the 24 countries that are playing in the games, and update your campaigns as some of these get knocked out from the game. And don’t forget to look at our infographic on which countries hosting the games have strict travel restrictions, as this will definitely help your campaigns.
❌ Here’s a clue, don’t run travel campaigns to Baku.
The map image above also highlights the fact that while the tournament is taking place in Europe, this is not the only location that will be interested in offers related to football.
Affiliate marketers should also know their audience, and by that we mean they need to know which other countries will be interested in watching the EURO 2020 outside of Europe.
The Rest of the World
According to UEFA, more than two billion people watched the EURO 2016 tournament live on television. And, as the Associated Press reported, the total cumulative live audience for the tournament, which took place in France, was almost five billion. Although Europe is large, it simply doesn’t have that many people living there.
600 million viewers watched the final, which attracted an “average in-home global audience” of 284.4 million. The match was the second most-viewed in European Championship history after the EURO 2012 final.
The Earlier kick-off times also led to higher audience figures in Asia, with France’s round 16 win against Ireland attracting 17.6 million viewers in China.
The final was watched by an average audience of more than 25.7 million in Brazil, 8 million in China, and 5.3 million in the US.
So, to summarise, we recommend that you consider 11 host nations, the 24 teams in the tournament, and other nations where football is important like South American countries (e.g. Brazil), and don’t forget China or the USA where there are millions of potential customers.
Which verticals to target with EURO 2020?
Based on the previous sporting events such as the World Cup in 2018, EURO 2016, and even the Super Bowl, it’s clear that sports betting is one of the most popular verticals for affiliates during sporting events.
However, that’s not the only vertical that you can make money with over the next month of football madness. That’s why we have compiled a list of the most popular verticals for affiliates to get stuck into.
This is an obvious choice to link to the upcoming football frenzy. Sports betting is a reliable way to make an affiliate commission as betting companies want more customers during these kinds of competitions. With these tournaments, you can reuse your knowledge and experience and update it for each event so you don’t have to start from scratch every time.
The SuperBowl for example had over 136 million U.S. dollars wagered this year according to Statista. This really highlights the need to get the sports betting niche. And one sports betting company, Unibet, had revenue of $25.7 million during EURO 2016.
If you are looking for a sports betting tip, both England and France have 5/1 odds to win the competition so they are the favorites to win. But don’t forget to watch Belgium, which may survive the group of death and come back to win the tournament.
And since we know you didn’t come here to play, but you came here to win, we recommend reading our guide to the sports betting niche here.
Place your bets, and get ready for some intense sports betting competition in the affiliate offers this month!
Where there is an opportunity for sports betting, gambling is usually seen, too. The two verticals go hand in hand for some affiliate marketers. Although it is not directly related to the games in the same way that sports betting is, with a little adjustment the target audience should be interested in gambling offers, too. Casino and gambling offers still have some sports games that will be your best bet during the tournament.
We already mentioned some of the most popular streaming sites for watching the game this year, but we can’t highlight this niche enough.
We’ve all got to watch the matches somewhere, and if you can’t get a ticket to one of the reduced capacity games, you will have to watch it on a screen like everybody else. Streaming has a big opportunity during sporting events and the streaming sites themselves are also hosts for pop and push ads. So, whenever there is a big game, there is a big opportunity.
As we have already said, 2 billion people watched the last EURO games in 2016, and that figure is set to climb this year.
You can see from the graph below that streaming peaked during the Super Bowl this year already, and that will probably be beaten by this event. That is due to the reach these games have with 24 countries involved. Also, nearly every other country has an interest too, as the games are officially broadcast in over 200 territories.
With the games being streamed by more people than ever before, we cannot recommend desktop traffic highly enough.
Now to get the desktop to work for you, we recommend that you use push ads, pop and domain redirect ads.
Downloads have always been a solid affiliate marketing option. The best mobile offers come from app downloads, but antivirus offers tend to work best for desktop. Although these don’t sound very football-related, it’s all about how you spin it to the user.
For example, you can find apps that give you good statistics for football or even football mobile games to download. Don’t forget to link the copy back to the games just like in the examples below.
As for desktop, you just need to adjust the copy to highlight the need for antivirus at a time when they need their devices for streaming and watching the games. The fear of missing out (FOMO) is a fantastic motivator to use in your campaigns so give it a shot and see if you can score some commission.
Have a look at the example push ads for some inspiration.
Think you’ve got the hang of it?
Antivirus has been a particularly hot vertical in the last month. With more people watching via the streaming sites we mentioned, pop ads on desktop and mobile are a great option for this ad format. There are of course push ads that also perform well on both platforms, too.
As you can see in the example, the way that we market antivirus still has to be through suggestion rather than aggression. If you want to find out what works best with antivirus, we’ve got another blog post for you, just click here to read.
The changing of the seasons, whether that’s related to the weather or sport, gives e-commerce big peaks in interest. And that’s definitely a good chance for companies to boost their sales. So, make a calendar of the most important sporting events this year and try to make each one work for your affiliate marketing campaigns.
As you can see from the example, there are always things people need like a TV to watch the game or team shirts to support their home country. Be on the lookout for these offers as they will likely make you some profit over the next month.
And as Steve Jobs said, “People don’t know what they want until you show it to them.“
Although this comes under the topic of e-commerce, travel needs to be talked about as it’s heating up. With warmer temperatures, the pandemic slowing down for the summer, it’s time for many people to book their trips.
And where there are trips, there are affiliate offers. Whether it’s for flights, hotels, car rentals, luggage, or many more there are affiliate sales to be made.
As you can see from the examples, if you have a snappy CTA and link it to the hot topic, this time being the football, then you will already be on your way to securing new customers.
It’s really that easy.
Keep the dates in your diary from the big opening taking place on June 11th in Rome, to the grand finale of UEFA EURO 2020 taking place on July 11th in London. Whichever vertical you choose, you’ve got a chance to score big with EURO 2020. With the millions that are spent on advertising during the EURO Championships, it’s time to cash in. Even if it is with a smaller budget.
Remember to think about the perfect GEOs for your campaign. Look within Europe to start but don’t forget to think globally! You’ve been training for this, and now it’s your opportunity to make some money!