The Great Euro 2008-IT tie-in

UPDATED: It's that time of year again, when the major summer sporting tournaments rumble around and IT marketing departments wrack their brains to think of some clever way of tying their products to the big event

Tags: Canon IncorporationEuropean Football ChampionshipHewlett-Packard Company
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By  Mark Sutton Published  June 10, 2008

UPDATED: It's that time of year again, when the major summer sporting tournaments rumble around and IT marketing departments wrack their brains to think of some clever way of tying their products to the big event.

For the non-football fans out there, the European Football Championship kicked off on Saturday, and with the Olympics just around the corner, we can expect a bumper summer of sports-branded products, promotions and photo opportunities featuring marketing managers trying to look sporty.

Normally I don't have anything against these tie-ins, especially when they are coupled with corporate hospitality at the event for journalists, but some of them really do struggle to make a link between their product and the sporting event in question.

An early lead from Canon, which has commissioned a study into how passionate European football fans get - including whether they have ever kissed a stranger at a football match. Apparently this is relevant becuase Canon, "as a world leading image technology provider, is committed to supporting and capturing" this passion. Right. 

Top of the table so far this year though, is HP Software, with its Euro 2008 Website Championship. Throughout the tournament, as football fans from across Europe, and indeed, the world, follow their teams through the highs, the lows and the heartbreaks of possibly the best footballing competition in the world, the HP Software-as-a-Service team will be using the HP Quality Centre offering to monitor website performance in countries that are competing in the final! At the end of the tournament, a winning country will be announced on a special HP microsite!! 

... and that's it. No prizes. No audience participation. No all-expenses-paid trip to Austria. Nice way to demonstrate the technology, and I'm sure someone will be interested in a comparative analysis of web performance in Europe in June,  but I think I'll just be watching the football instead...

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