The days are long, but the nights make it all worthwhile.
EURO2016.com’s editorial nerve centre is tucked away inside Hall 6 at the Paris Expo Centre Porte de Versailles – the next building along from the TV facilities for the tournament. Symbolic, perhaps, of the way the original website offering – which UEFA has offered at every EURO since 2000 – has expanded to become a multifaceted, interactive entity, complementing broadcast coverage and celebrating Le Rendez-Vous on multiple platforms.
Each day begins by tying up loose ends from the previous night’s games, analysing traffic figures across mobile (we are ‘mobile first’ for the first time), desktop and our suite of apps before various members of the team spend an hour in an editorial meeting discussing output for the day ahead, tackling any potential problems and generating ideas.
The mission each day is to produce top-class content for each platform, including social media, where we have a dedicated editor working on each of the main networks, as well as a graphic designer and a video team producing the snappy content demanded by millions of users across the globe. Partnerships with Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are helping to yield record numbers, and we are also supporting and interacting with the 24 teams.
As the build-up to games intensifies, EURO2016.com focus switches to the massively popular live MatchCentre. A genuine second-screen offering, it features comment and analysis from our reporters who are embedded with the teams – in many cases travelling around France with them on official transport. Live stats are provided by UEFA’s data team and months of developing a tool which connects a photographer in the stadium with our MatchCentre means users can see a photo of a major event inside 90 seconds.
All 552 players at EURO feature in the Player Barometer, which feeds match data through an algorithm to give a real-time form tracker at the final. Fantasy Football remains immensely popular, as does the new Daily 7s game, which you don’t need to be a football expert to play. Along with Predictor and opportunities to vote for the Man of the Match, we are providing ardent football fans and big-event supporters the chance to enjoy the competition from a different angle.
The office door is rarely locked until the early hours of the morning, but always in the certainty that each team, each match, each player had been given the coverage they deserved. Exhausting, maybe, but exhaustive and hugely rewarding too.