After successfully hosting the 2006 FIFA World Cup, the stage is set again for Germany as the 2024 UEFA European Championship rolls into town.

The country will host the 24-team men's soccer tournament for the first time since it was staged in the old West Germany in 1988, with the action running from June 14 to July 14.

After a unique Euro 2020 (played in 2021 due to Covid-19), held in 11 different cities around the continent to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the competition, UEFA has returned to a single-country hosting method, with high expectations for one of Europe’s biggest soccer markets.

UEFA has sold most of the 2.7 million tickets it put on sale, with a large number of games likely to be sell-outs across the 10 venues in Germany.

With several of western Europe's largest stadiums, attendance numbers at Euro 2024 could potentially set new records. Leipzig’s Red Bull Arena is the smallest arena at a capacity of about 40,000, with Berlin’s Olympic Stadium the biggest at 70,000.

In terms of where the fans are coming from, according to ticket marketplace Viagogo, supporters from 134 countries will descend on Germany for the tournament.

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The highest average attendance per match at the Euros was set in 1988 at 59,243, in Germany  – this tournament could potentially surpass that.

UEFA is also expecting to hit big numbers in terms of both revenue and reach.

From a commercial standpoint, the governing body conducted a national and global sponsorship program with its CAA Eleven sales agency and secured 18 partners in total for the tournament.

Bitburger, Deutsche Bahn, Deutsche Telekom, Ergo, and Wisenhof are the five national sponsors alongside global partners adidas, AliExpress, Alipay, Atos, Betano,, BYD, Coca-Cola, Engelbert Strauss, Hisense, Lidl, Visit Qatar/Qatar Airways, and Vivo.

“It's great to have a balance between incumbent partners, or longer-term partners, and newcomers because it gives expertise and new fresh ideas,” UEFA’s marketing director Guy-Laurent Epstein tells Sportcal (GlobalData Sport).

“With one host country, we have local partners and in Germany, the local brands are quite powerful. We have very strong brands as our local partners.”

With broadcast deals now mostly wrapped up ahead of the opening Euro 2024 game this evening between Germany and Scotland in Munich, commercial and media rights income is set to top the previous edition.

“We will see an increase of 25% from the last Euros, which is quite significant,” Epstein reveals. “That’s counting every revenue stream – commercial, sponsorship, licensing, broadcast, and ticketing.

“All the revenues are about 25% above the last Euros. We are above the targets and well in budget regarding this so we're very happy with the way it went. Commercially, we've achieved a very good program.”

A 25% rise would equate to UEFA generating around €2.4 billion and a net profit of €145 million, demonstrating what a commercial juggernaut the Euro is. 

With one host country, UEFA was able to tailor its commercial program and split it between both a local and global focus, as opposed to the previous Euro where the organization stuck to a predominantly global approach, because of the multiple host cities.

With technology advancing rapidly, UEFA will roll out a targeted advertising approach for local sponsors in Germany, using virtual advertising solutions, another feather in its commercial cap this year.

“Compared to the past, and compared to the 2006 World Cup, the technology allows us to manage the commercial program differently,” Epstein explains.

“The virtual advertising feeds allow us to have local sponsors in Germany with local board perimeter space. For local sponsors, we’ll only deliver their boards in Germany, and we have used the time to sell to other sponsors, or existing sponsors, outside Germany. So, we can manage a very strong local program together with a very strong international program.

“In stadia, we have the international perimeter board configuration and in the broadcast feed for Germany, we’ll replace some of the brands with the local brands.”

With the sponsorship landscape changing drastically in recent years due to the evolution of digital and social media, brands must now be more creative in how they activate and reach their target audience.

In this current age of sports marketing, having a digital strategy is key and is now widely viewed as the most efficient way of communicating messages.

However, with a month-long tournament like the Euros, physical touchpoints and direct fan engagement should also be factored into marketing approaches, with millions heading to Germany.

UEFA believes a multi-pronged strategy with activation on the ground will provide significant opportunities for its partners.

“There are a lot of things happening in the digital space,” Epstein acknowledges. “For us and our sponsors, it’s the way to reach the masses in a very efficient manner and to have a direct connection with people online. A lot of the activation and promotions that are happening are very much digital. It’s the same for the Champions League, a lot has moved there.

“However, the Euro is very special because it's one month, in one space, with all the country behind it. So of course, there are many local activities. The fan zone is a very good example of where that is part of the overall activation program for us that was not there in the past.

“It is integrated fully in our promotional concept, where we support and encourage partners to be present and activate locally because we know that the culture in Germany of the ‘biergarten’ fits very well with the concept of fan zones and we know that it will be a very strong success.

“We encourage our partners to be there with us and activate because we know that it will be absolutely packed, and it will be a great way to engage with fans during the tournament.”


From a broadcast perspective, UEFA recently concluded late Euro 2024 deals with pay-TV broadcaster BeIN Sports in France, Wowow in Japan, TrueVisions in Thailand, and Match TV and Okko in Russia to complete the global broadcast arrangements for the 17th edition of the tournament.

Euro 2020 attracted a cumulative global live audience of 5.2 billion, while Italy's penalty-shootout victory over England in the final was watched by 328 million viewers, on par with the record set in 2016.

On average, each live match was watched by over 100 million viewers, while it was also the most engaged-with Euros ever on social media with 7.5 billion interactions and views – of which 2 billion were generated by official UEFA accounts.

Epstein is confident this year’s competition will reach the same heights in terms of reach – and potentially surpass the figures from three years ago across all platforms.

“The Euro is huge,” he states. “The target is 5 billion cumulative audience across the month, so it's quite significant. Each of the 51 games is bigger than one Super Bowl. The Super Bowl has this image of being a huge audience, and it's true in the US, but we are global and therefore we can reach people everywhere.

“We hope to grow compared to the last Euro and we believe we will. Having this setup in Germany and the storytelling behind it, it's easier to do. Germany is a big football market and with the bigger teams in Europe, it will be a great promotion around it.

"We expect to surpass what we did in Euro 2020 with a target audience of 5 billion. We are very confident."

“The explosion will be in digital because the digital reach grows all the time. The digital offering that we, and the sponsors and broadcasters can do, is growing every few years and is bigger than before. This Euro will have a significantly huge digital footprint.”

For UEFA’s commercial team and CAA Eleven, attention will soon turn to Euro 2028 which will be staged in the UK and Ireland, the first time it will be held across five countries.

Some broadcast deals have already been concluded for 2028, sold as a package with alongside this year’s tournament.

From a commercial standpoint, the Euros in England will present an opportunity to test a different approach to the sponsorship sales process.

“We've already started and in terms of organization it's already on the go,” Epstein says of the next commercial cycle.

“From a broadcast perspective, we’ve already sold quite a lot of markets. We combined 2024 and 2028, so we’re very much advanced for 2028.

“On the sponsorship side, we haven’t sold much as a bundle because we believe that going to the UK has a special unique selling point that deserves to be sold differently. The market is huge and we have to probably give a different edge to that competition from Germany.

“We have a couple of deals that cover 2028, but for the rest, it's fully open. We will start during Euro 2024 to speak to incumbent partners but also to have some prospective partners coming to see what it means. We are starting already.”