UEFA Euro 2020 was poised to be the biggest, most anticipated European Football Championship in its storied 60-year history. The quadrennial tournament was to be hosted across twelve different nations throughout Europe for the first time ever, and ESPN was ready to bring exclusive, around-the-clock coverage to American fans like never before. Yesterday, 12th July, would have been the final match to crown the continent's winner at Wembley Stadium. Now, due to the pandemic, fans will have to wait exactly one more year.
Rather than lament the delay, ESPN is focused on 'extra time' to deepen fans’ anticipation and excitement for the tournament’s 2021 return. Through a :60 spot created in collaboration with Austin agency, Preacher
, ESPN is sending a message to soccer fans and players to take the next calendar year as a chance to turn disappointment into opportunity.
The film features cameos from the game's biggest stars, including Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappe, Harry Kane, Gareth Bale and beloved teams, as well as nods to rivalries and rituals both old and new, and will run (in :30 and :60 versions) across all ESPN social properties as well as on its website
"As fans ourselves, it was important to us to empathise with the bummer news but not to wallow in it. When we landed on the idea of reframing the year-long postponement as 'extra time', it felt like a genuine, relatable way to raise interest and intensity." said Seth Gaffney, chief strategy officer at Preacher.
VP of sports marketing at ESPN, Emeka Ofodile, added: “From MLS to Bundesliga, Serie A, La Liga, and Premier League, soccer is back, and so is UEFA EURO 2020 next summer. We’ve got ‘extra time’ to get ready for one of the biggest tournaments in the world, and we’re letting fans know that ESPN will be with them every step of the way.”