Running European football’s governing body requires a wide range of different roles and skills. As well as the organisation, protection and development of the sport, UEFA is tasked with its promotion. Marketing promotions manager Martin Howard gives us an insight into his role, from working with national associations to coordinating music with David Guetta.
What’s your job all about?
I create and deliver integrated marketing communications and promotional platforms using a mixture of online and offline digital, social and traditional media. We incorporate market trends, best practice insights and target market segmentation as part of our work. My goal is to encourage fans to become loyal followers of the club and national team competitions that UEFA organises. Our marketing campaigns are developed primarily to engage with clubs and national associations, the media, fans and commercial partners. The campaigns are designed to focus on the audience’s passion to enable us to expand the audience reach and engagement for the competitions we have, and ultimately help to increase revenue.
What do you enjoy about your job?
Working across all the top UEFA competitions means you get to work on a wide variety of campaigns. Each competition comes with its own unique set of promotional objectives and all are marketed in different ways. Working on the UEFA Europa League means your focus is on building its brand value and engaging with the fans who passionately follow their clubs across Europe, sometimes doing so for the first time. This means that you get to work closely with all the participating clubs, helping them to create digital and social content that clubs can use to communicate with their fans. For the UEFA Champions League our aim is to promote the premium value of the competition and increase its appeal to younger and more casual football supporters. This means that we get to create content and competitions where UEFA interacts directly with fans and non-fans alike through digital and social media channels. We do this by creating ‘money can’t buy’ experiences such as the opportunity to play on the pitch the morning after the final.
What did you do for UEFA EURO 2016?
For us, the challenge for the EURO was how to build on the festivities around the football, which are enjoyed by a cross section of society, irrespective of their love for football. Music plays a big part in these promotions, and for UEFA EURO 2016 we worked with David Guetta and Zara Larsson to create the official song – with the help of more than one million football fans, who recorded their voices. That campaign also included a free concert in Paris for more than 100,000 people, entertainment at the stadiums and music for the opening and closing ceremonies. Creating and delivering these promotional plans means you get to work closely with colleagues across a number of UEFA divisions, which is an amazing experience. Not only do you have to think strategically about what is best for the competition, but you also have to make sure that the plans are delivered to the highest standard. It’s great to see campaigns that you have developed inspire and engage so many people.