UEFA Sponsor Mastercard’s #madnessorpriceless Multi-faceted Marketing Focuses On Fan Passion For Final

Campaign Of The Week From Activative

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Official UEFA Champions League sponsor MasterCard rolled out an expansive activation programme based around fan support - linked by the brand’s #MadnessOrPriceless hashtag – ahead of football’s showcase game: one that ranges from the release of its ‘The 12th Man Report’ to a video-led partnership with Copa90 that explores TIFOs, TV spots, digital and social assets, media alliances, as well as simply urging football fans to ‘let us know how far you’d go for your love of football using #MadnessOrPriceless’

Launched just days ahead of the June 3rd classic club clash between Real Madrid and Juventus, the Copa90 partnership set out to offer fans and consumers everything they need to know about TIFOs.

TIFO is the Italian term for the phenomenon of supporting a sport team and TIFO is an umbrella word for choreography and displays of support by fans in the stands.

This tie-up is spearheaded by a spot, launched on 30 May, that tells the global story of one of football’s greatest expressions


On May 31st, Mastercard followed up by publishing its 12th Man Report,  a European survey of 10,500 football fans that explores just how far fans will go to support their team.

The report researches everything from how much money supporters spend and the distances they travel, to social factors such as sacrificing relationships and the first time they saw a live game.

The supporter survey found that European soccer supporters believe that British football fans are the most passionate of all.

The first question on the report asked which fans are perceived to be the most passionate -  based on (positive) definitions like as atmosphere created, commitment made and dedication to away support.

The result is a comprehensive victory for British fans: almost a one-third (32%) of all respondents said it was British fans who are the most passionate.  The UK supporters came out ahead of Spanish fans (16%) and Italian fans (12%).

Other UK football fan findings include 11% of Brits admitting that that they could not date a supporter of their football team’s rivals, while 10% said they’d cancel their honeymoon to watch their team play in the UEFA Champions League Final, with  25% admitting to taking ‘unsolicited’ leave from work and 20% saying they miss a close friend’s birthday to attend an important game.

British fans are also amongst the youngest committed club supporter starters: with 36% saying they had already become fans of their team by the age of 10.

While the overall average age across Europe for first becoming a fan was 13, it is the Portuguese who are the youngest starters of all as they have chosen a club allegiance at seven.

But British football lovers are a bit cheap when it comes to coughing up cash to support their club. Despite the Premier League’s ever inflating ticket prices, the most money British football fans have spent on attending a single game  averages out at £343: well below the Turks (£608), Russians (£553), French (£475), and Spanish (£465).

British fans also lag behind some European supporters when it comes to distances travelled to watch a game.UK fans average travel time is just 4hrs,13mins, around half the period spent travelling by Polish fans (8hrs 24 mins). Indeed, only 31% of Brits have supported their team abroad, compared with Spanish fans (61%) and Italian fans (56%).

Other stand-out findings include:

> Dutch fans (41%) are the only European fans who prefer to watch their team on TV rather than in stadia.

> Italian fans have the best ‘home’ support, with 46% supporting their home town club (more than any other country in Europe).
> Romanians are the biggest glory hunters – with over a quarter (26%) confessing that they support their team due to their success.

> 66% of Ukrainian fans would rather see their team in the UEFA Champions League final than win the lottery.

> Turkish fans are the least romantic with one in five confessing they’d cancel their honeymoon for a UEFA Champions League ticket.

The survey’s results were promoted via a branded infographic amplified right across the UEFA payments partner’s digital and social platforms across the continent.


Ryan Giggs, Mastercard’s ambassador for the UEFA Champions League, commented: “I have been very fortunate to play all over the world during my career, but it comes as no surprise to me that British fans are considered the most passionate. Those European nights were among the best of my life, and the travelling support always played a huge part.”

 While Ann Cairns, Mastercard’s President of International Markets added: “The Champions League has created so many memorable moments in football, but it’s also the supporters who help create that magic. Our sponsorship of the tournament encapsulates this priceless sporting spirit.”

The survey, carried out for Mastercard by Mortar, spanned 10,500 respondents across 16 European countries (UK, Germany, Spain, France, Netherlands, Italy, Turkey, Russia, Sweden, Portugal, Greece, Ukraine, Romania, Israel, Czech Republic and Poland).

Mastercard is also running a series of Champions League Final 2017 media alliances based on fan stories and asking the question ‘what kind of a fan are you?’ - such as one with The Telegraph in the UK (see http://www.telegraph.co.uk/football/champions-league-fans-stories/)


As well as big match offer-led service partnerships with brands like Deliveroo (feed the fans with £5 off your first two orders at Deliveroo with Mastercard GET CODE), Hotels.com (celebrate the madness of the UEFA Champions League Final Cardiff 2017 and recieve 10% off when booking with Hotels.com, thanks to Mastercard. BOOK NOW) and Priceless.Cities (enjoy more exclusive offers with Priceless Cities and your Mastercard. Start exploring today. FIND OUT MORE)

Throughout this year’s tournament, Mastercard has been exploring the theme of fan passion through a range of activations including: ‘#MadnessorPriceless – How Far Would You Go For Your Team?’ (launched in February 2017), as well as player-led ‘Priceless Surprise’ initiatives such as ‘ Gianluigi Buffon Gives These Young Fans A Priceless Surprise’.


‘Two Rivals In One T-Shirt For A UEFA Champions League Game’ (from March 2017),



Activative Comment:

Mastercard, one of seven top tier UEFA Champions League sponsors (alongside Gazprom, Heineken, Nissan, Pepsi, Sony and Unicredit), is a long-time sponsor of the world’s top club competition.

Indeed, Buffon also starred in perhaps the stand-out strand of Mastercard’s 2016 #MadnessOrPriceless UEFA Champions League campaigns.

As well as the above activations, Mastercard’s other showpiece Champions League leverage programme includes a classic match ticket competition, as well as its long running ‘Priceless Mascot Experience’ (see https://uk.mastercard.com/ucl/closed), while Mastercard is also a sponsor of the UEFA Women’s Champions League Final Cardiff 2017.