BYD builds EV reality for everyone, at EURO 2024

If you want to speak to the early mainstream EV audience, there can be no better marketing communications platform than sponsoring the Euros, other than the World Cup. So, BYD’s official partner status at the Euros is a very big deal for them and, also, I would add, does a wider service to take EV into the homes and minds of prospective EV buyers. Interestingly, the Euro’s website defines them both as an Official Partner, and as an emobility partner.

This is both depth and range of engagement, with the tournament lasting a full calendar month from 14 June, with the final on 14 July. Audience figures are huge. The last Euros had a cumulative live match audience recorded at 5.23 billion. The final was watched by 328 million fans, on par with the record set in 2016. Nothing connects to audiences like football. The key cultural outcome will be that this activation will reframe BYD from being a Chinese brand that is internationalising to being more actively defined as a local brand. That is key to BYD and other global brands in building local relevance in the minds of consumers.

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But at what cost? It’s difficult to access precise sponsorship costs, with the cost for brands to become official sponsors of the UEFA Euro football competition vary widely depending on the level of sponsorship, and the specific package they negotiate. However, estimates for top-tier sponsorship packages generally range from €30 million to €50 million (approximately $32 million to $54 million) per tournament. These figures can fluctuate based on various factors, including the specific rights and benefits included in the sponsorship deal.

BYD are extending their campaign into other audience engagement activations, aside from the pitch side banners. BYD will also be present at the official fan zones inviting people to enjoy live match broadcasts, and will also hold hundreds of events, in more than 230 BYD stores across 19 European countries, to celebrate the tournament.

With the tournament being held in Germany, it won’t be lost on the grandees of the legacy automakers that this is an audacious marketing move on the part of BYD that takes the leading Chinese brand into the very heart of the European automotive industry. I’ve heard from my own contacts that this activation has led to a world of engagement opportunities at BYD, so it will be very interesting to see what outcomes this sponsorship delivers, both for consumers and for BYD business partners.

This campaign is also a big opportunity for both parties to reaffirm their sustainability credentials. From UEFA’s side, it’s worth looking at the full quote from Guy-Laurent Epstein, UEFA’s Marketing Director. He says: “We are excited to welcome BYD, a pioneering brand with a 29-year pedigree in advanced battery technologies with a reputation for global innovation in new energy vehicles and the world’s biggest electric car company, as a partner for UEFA EURO 2024. The partnership fully aligns with UEFA’s vision of promoting a greener and more sustainable European Championship by merging the excitement of football and UEFA’s commitment to environmental responsibility. BYD is short for Build Your Dreams, which connects perfectly with the European Championship as players and teams relentlessly pursue their passion and hard work to build their dreams on the field, and lift the prestigious Henri Delaunay Trophy in Berlin on 14 July.”

It’s also interesting to read the boss of BYD’s own words on the partnership: Michael Shu, Managing Director of BYD Europe is quoted on the UEFA website, saying: “BYD is thrilled to partner with UEFA EURO 2024 and proud to be the first E-mobility partner for this prestigious sports event, which will enable us to showcase our latest advancements in electric vehicles to a far-reaching audience. Significantly, the partnership underlines BYD’s brand commitment to reducing carbon emissions for a greener future, for which UEFA EURO 2024 will provide an influential voice. There are great synergies between our organisations. Like UEFA, we aim to inspire through positive and inclusive experiences, with a clear focus on goals. BYD is dedicated to making E-Mobility accessible to all, and as a partner of UEFA EURO 2024 we look forward to presenting diverse and premium options with game-changing technologies to fans from all over the world, paving the way for a greener future for global sports events.”

I think we should applaud BYD not just for their own sponsorship campaign, but for an activation which takes emobility deep into the mainstream of new audiences for their new energy vehicles. They’ve likely paid top dollar, or top Euro, to be part of the EURO tournament and take EV to everyone.

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