I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: the UEFA European Football Championship, or the Euro, is great for all things affiliate marketing. It’s also one of the most riveting events in all of sports; so it’s safe to say the excitement transcends just marketing.
While the Euro is quite a big deal to me personally (for complete transparency, I was born in Russia and will be supporting the squad wholeheartedly), some of our global readers may be less than knowledgeable or interested in the event. Since the 2012 Euro presents a wealth of opportunities for anyone interested in brand leveraging or just sheer sporting entertainment, we will be kicking off our Euro 2012 blog series with a concise introduction to the event, both traditionally and specifically this year.
A Brief History of the Euro
As a concept, an organised football championship for the European continent is by no means a new idea. Francois Delaney, then head of the French Football Federation, proposed the idea all the way back in 1927. However, the tournament as we recognise it today is a younger creature. The first one took place in 1960. Delaney never saw his proposal realised, having died three years earlier, but from that initial tournament the championship trophy has been named in his honour.
The tournament takes place every four years, directly in the middle of the gap between World Cup tournaments, and has steadily grown in size since the inaugural 1960 event. Initially, only four teams qualified for the actual tournament portion. In 1980, the field was doubled to include 16 teams, with another doubling occurring in 1996. An expansion to 24 teams is slated for the 2016 Euro.
As far as tournament success goes, Germany has proven to be the Euro’s most consistent team. The German squad has won the Euro three times, and has also been runner up three times. Spain is the closest competitor, with two titles in three total finals appearances. Of all the Euro success stories, it’s interesting to note that only one team has won with a foreign coach. In 2004, the Greece squad was under the helm of the German Otto Rehhagel. Every other Euro-winning squad has kept coaching duties in-house (or rather country). Another fun fact is that current head of the UEFA, Michel Platini, also holds the Euro record for most goals in a tournament as well as most overall Euro goals with his nine goal feat in 1984.
This year’s Euro event is being hosted jointly by neighbours Ukraine and Poland and will be running between 8 June and 1 July. The joint bid has been a popular modern addition to the Euro, with the 2000 tournament being hosted by Belgium-Netherlands and the 2008 event splitting time between Austria and Switzerland. Joint-host countries have fared poorly in the event thus far, with only the Netherlands making it out of the group stages in their tournament. The Ukraine and Poland will be seeking to reverse this trend, though Ukraine did not qualify for the previous Euro and Poland didn’t make it to the knockout rounds.
As far as Ukraine’s and Poland’s chances go, we’ll be previewing all of the teams in this year’s events throughout this upcoming blog series. We will also be covering betting information and related promotions from our partners, so be sure to stick around.
Who’s your favourite for Euro 2012? Comment below!
- Euro 2012 Preview: Group D
- Euro 2012 Preview: Group A
- Euro 2012 Preview: Group B
- Euro 2012 Preview: Group C
- Betfred Goes All Out for Euro 2012