The 15th UEFA European Championship kicked off on Friday evening, with hosts, France, securing a 2-1 victory over Romania in the opening game. A whole weekend of world class footballing action followed: reigning world champions, Germany, enjoyed a solid 2-0 win against Ukraine, Wales won their first match in their first major international tournament in 58 years, and England had victory torn from their grasp in the dying minutes of their fixture against Russia, coming away with a 1-1 draw.
It may only be European teams taking part, but the Euros are enjoyed by a global audience. In fact, the 2012 final between Spain and Italy drew over 300 million viewers across the world, with 20.3 million of those coming from the UK. For those advertisers brave enough and clever enough to get their message seen during the competition, a vast viewership awaits.
And, as with other major sporting events of recent years,‘viewership’ doesn’t simply mean those fans watching the action live on TV. This year, more than ever, mobile devices will be a primary source of information during the course of the tournament. Whether it be checking fixtures and results on the official app or discussing a player’s impact on the match on social media, there’s no doubt that smartphones will be the world’s companion device for Euro 2016.
We surveyed 700 UK mobile users to discover just how they’ll use their devices during the tournament:
Big screen or small screen? First screen or second?
Unsurprisingly, TV will be the go-to screen for watching the action unfold, with 90% of fans aiming to watch Euro games on their favourite widescreen. However, the development of mobile as a “first-screen” is going to take major strides forwards, with 17% of fans aiming to watch some of the tournament on their mobile device.
Whilst the smartphone revolution had fully taken hold for the 2012 European Championship, and even helped break the tweet-per-minute record in 2014 when Germany dazzled in the final of the World Cup, its connection to football (and to sport in general) was cemented as the “second screen”. Now, though, with smartphones and tablets being much more capable, and live streaming services far more reliable, mobile is also becoming a viable first screen for many fans. For this year’s Euro competition, it will even overtake desktop as a more popular screen, where only 13% of fans intend on watching the games.
Similarly to the live games, TV will be the most popular source of tournament information as 73% of viewers intend on catching up with the day’s action on the big screen. And thanks to the sheer utility that’s made them such an integral part of our lives, mobile apps will be another source of up-to-date information throughout the day for 42% of viewers.
Playing the game
Some say we’ve become a distracted generation. Others say we’re just more adept at multi-tasking. Whichever way you look at it, our minds are usually on more than one thing at any one time and much of this has stemmed from our obsession with our devices.
Although the football on offer is sure to be gripping, chances are the majority of fans will be using their smartphones in some capacity while they watch the football. Social media is a proven area of focus during sporting events and 34% of uses will browse and post to their social channels during the games. A whopping 54% of fans will split their concentration between the match and even more sport, through dedicated sports news apps. And, perhaps surprisingly to some, 38% of fans will play games on their smartphones whilst watching the action unfold!
Action Packed Evenings
Evenings are the preferred time for many fans to catch up on the day’s results and monitor the games being played at the time – 54% of fans will get their Euro updates in the evening, with 27% and 19% doing so in the morning and afternoon, respectively.