1st Time UEFA Euro 2016 Sponsor SOCAR Youth-Focused #MakeYourDebut


First time UEFA Euro 2016 sponsor SOCAR launched the main phase of its young fan/young player focused ‘Make Your Debut’ tournament campaign in the first week of June with a flagship TV spot.



The creative introduced the initiative’s focus on exploring and championing the stories of those making their tournament debuts (just like the brand itself).


The launch commercial was supported through the competition by a three-part ‘First Timers’ video series:





The energy company from Azerbaijan, with operations across Europe, is sponsoring the UEFA European Football Championship for the first time and are championing this by celebrating teams, players and fans also at their debut tournament on the European scale.


The activation revolves around a central digital hub at http://makeyourdebutsocar.com/ which curates consumer-created fan films, a ticket competition, tournament statistics




and supporting company information too.


The site also showcases the best entries from the parallel social media competition which offers consumers a chance to win tournament match tickets by showing their game passion in the form of a photo on the brand’s Instagram, Twitter or Facebook channels using the hashtag #MakeYourDebut.



This strand was run in parallel with the property owner itself.



SOCAR also partnered with UEFA on the official ‘Young Player Of The Tournament’ competition,



voted for by fans and won by Portugal’s Renato Sanchez.



While in terms on on-site activation, fans in Paris are invited to the SOCAR Tent branded space at the official UEFA EURO 2016 Fan Fest – located beside the city’s iconic Champs de Mars (just a few paces away from the world famous Eiffel Tower).



This ‘Make Your Debut Experience’ at the main Paris Fan Zone includes a spearhead virtual reality concept that enables fans to feel what it is like to make their national team debut through the eyes of a young player.



‘The UEFA European Football Championship is set to be a spectacular and cheerful celebration of the best talents Europe has to offer,’ explains SOCAR President Rovnag Abdullayev.


‘As a quality European brand in the energy sector, we are proud to debut our support to a sport event of such a scale and significance.’




In a classic sponsorship strategy, SOCAR’s tournament partnership aims to enable the company to raise its international profile and build a premium global brand.


Although the campaign’s relatively low social and digital stats – for example, on its official campaign YouTube channel the launch spot gained only 1.360 views, while the three First Timers films only racked up 1,530, 6,081 and 1,326 respectively – shows that global engagement for emerging brands takes time.


SOCAR actually signed up as UEFA’s seventh global partner of Euro 2016 back in mid May 2013 in a deal that runs from 2014 to 2017.


Following in the footsteps of better known global brands and regular blockbuster sports event sponsors such as Coca-Cola, adidas, McDonald’s, Hyundai/Kia, Continental and Carlsberg.


Its name and logo may not be that familiar with the average European football fan, but SOCAR (State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic) is one of the largest oil companies in the world.


The deal sees the company become an official sponsor for all UEFA’s national team competitions: including the UEFA European Football Championship, the UEFA European Under-21 Championship, the UEFA Women’s Euro tournament and the 2016 UEFA European Under-17 Football Championship (hosted by Azerbaijan).


‘We are very pleased to welcome SOCAR as an Official Partner of the UEFA national team competitions and this comprehensive sponsorship platform will offer SOCAR a unique opportunity to promote their brand and drive engagement with their target audience,’ Commented UEFA Events marketing director Guy-Laurent Epstein at the time.


‘SOCAR’s aim to become a global energy company, and our collaboration, will bring new opportunities for the promotion of the very best of European national team football to a larger and wider group of fans.’


‘We are thrilled to be involved with this forward-thinking project, and SOCAR takes great pride in its association with the world of sport,’ added SOCAR’s VP marketing and investments Elshad Nasirov.


‘Sponsorships across sport are a very significant point for us, and for SOCAR to be associated with such a large-scale and exciting competition as the 2016 UEFA European Football Championship is very important. This sponsorship provides us with a unique platform to raise the international profile of SOCAR, and reflects our vision of establishing and building a premium brand in the energy sector.’




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