Let’s go Turkey!

The success of the National Team contributed a lot to the recognizability of the sponsors’ brand names. Main sponsor Ülker was targeting international recognition with its communications campaign.

The Euro 2008 European Football Championship kicked off on June 7th, and since then we have been going to bed and waking up with football on our minds. It is estimated that nearly 400 million people will have watched Euro 2008, one of the largest sports organizations in the world. This year the event is being hosted in two countries, Austria and Switzerland and when the championship began the Turkish team was not given much hope.  However, on June 11th the Turkish National Team eliminated the host Swiss team in a surprise upset.  Then, last Sunday Turkey suddenly became one of the favorite teams in the event when it pulled off a surprising performance against the Czech Republic and miraculously won the extraordinary match by a score of 3-2.  In the days after that match everyone was talking about the astonishing victory of the Turkish team.  On the day I am writing this, Turkey has not yet met Croatia on the field, but I must admit that it won’t be a surprise if Turkey advances to the final.

Special products for the National Team

As long as the success of the Turkish National Team in tournaments continues, perhaps the most joyful of all are the main sponsors who devote themselves to sponsoring the team. This is because the return on the millions of dollars that they invest in sponsorship is directly proportional to the success of the team they support. The support that is provided to the National Team during the championship, through the sponsorships of Coca-Cola, Turkcell, TTNet and Ülker, are very important. On the other hand however, the contributions of the sponsoring companies in the form of TV, newspaper and radio advertisements and activities on the field during Euro 2008 are also very real.  The popular television commercial and other communications that one main sponsor, Ülker produced for the Euro 2008 European Football Championship sparked excitement; its multi-pronged campaign leads the field.  The Ülker Group of Companies provides Turkish sport with 38 million dollars in support annually.  The group’s very professional communications activities to promote their brand included a television ad in which members of the National Team appeared as actors, PR promotions, a website launched in cooperation with footballers at  are helped along by the support of its distribution network and various field events. The group is also conducting complimentary projects such as introducing a special Euro 2008 variety of Red & White Chewy and conducting a promotional campaign with a National Team themed variety of Içim Milk. According to information received from Ülker, since June 2007 it has sold 168 million packages of chocolate and cookies with the National Team logo on their packaging. The products were distributed by 2,500 specially decorated National Team delivery trucks which traveled a total of 61 million kilometers over a 6 month period to achieve the job. Ülker Corporate Communications Director Zuhal Şeker explained how the fundamental perspective of the multi-pronged communications plan and its related components, an advertising film, PR and field events was conceived. "While planning our communications for Euro 2008, we put a lot of work into creating an interactive platform with the public. In establishing contact with young people one of the most important channels is the internet.  We began with that idea and developed the projects that we thought would be very successful in that area.  Also, we planned field events and constructed kiosks at several locations to capture the attention of the public and provide them with a way to send messages of support to members of our National Team," she said.

Multi-national Competition

As the National Team advances in the competition, Ülker, as a main sponsor of the team, is accelerating its communications campaigns significantly said Şeker.  “Sponsorship is a long-winded communications process and naturally, as our National Team advances and wins more and more games, we reflect these successes and the excitement of the fans in our communications.  For example, both the number of visitors to our web site at and the number of video messages that fans are leaving there, are increasing along with the team’s success,” she said.  The success that the Ülker Group is experiencing outside of the region is an indication that its targets will be more globally-oriented.  The cooperation between the National Team and Ülker is beneficial on many levels, the most important of which is an increase in the recognizability of the brand name in the international arena. Zuhal Şeker added, “As our National Team competes against the giants of Europe in Euro 2008 and other championships, Ülker is steadily making progress toward becoming an international brand name.”  


* World’s 3rd largest sports and 2nd largest football organization
* 16 strong National Teams, two host countries, 8 stadia, 31 matches played in 3 weeks
* Final match watched by an estimated 350–400 million people
* Total revenue for home venues of Austria and Switzerland will be about 640 million Euros
* Expected to contribute 1.4 billion Euros to the economy of Europe
* Average revenue generated by each match will be 42 million Euros
* Matches scheduled among the teams in the C Group – France vs. Italy, Holland vs. France and Italy vs. Holland  - are expected to generate 168 million Euros for the European economy
* the Championship is expected to contribute 321 million Euros to the Austrian economy, provide employment for 6,000 individuals and require the hotel industry to accommodate 1 million extra people.
* Switzerland’s economy will get an injection of 320 million Euros and employment will be generated for about 3,800 workers


* Ülker, as the country’s largest supporter of Turkish sports, puts aside 38 million dollars each year as a resource for sports investments.  The amount is divided equally between foot ball and basketball organizations.

* Besides its sponsorship of professional sport, the group also supports sports projects to develop the talents of young players and participates in activities designed to strengthen the infrastructure of sport.  Ülker has signed a 5–year sponsorship agreement with the Turkish Football Federation.

* The contract with Turkish Football Federation is a widespread agreement that includes Ülker’s support for the all national teams from the A National Football Team to the Women’s National Teams. In cooperation with the Turkish Football Federation, Ülker also supports the Grassroots – “Football for Everyone” football projects.

* Meanwhile, Ülker also supports the infrastructure of the Fenerbahçe, Beşiktaş, Galatasaray and Trabzonspor football clubs with its Cola Turka brand name.

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