UEFA have revealed that EURO 2016 has been the organisation’s biggest European Championship ever both on and off the pitch.
Over 300 million visits and 1.5 billion page impressions were registered on the website and mobile apps between 9 June and 11 July. This is almost four times more than the traffic recorded during EURO 2012.
The tournament’s success was echoed around the world and on social media; UEFA-produced content was seen by over 3 billion people across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. There were over 70 million interactions on the tournament’s official channels too.
On Twitter, the official #EURO2016 hashtag and accompanying trophy emoji were used more than 26 million times. Of the 109 million tweets sent during the recorded period, 14.2 million of them referred to the final in which Portugal beat France in extra time.
Innovations such as live streaming all official training sessions contributed to 950 million interactions on Facebook, making it the biggest sporting event of the year on the network. 146 million reactions, shares, and comments were generated by the final alone.
The tournament was also a success for individual players: Northern Ireland’s Will Grigg in particular saw a 1755.17% increase in engagements on his Facebook page. This is nearly 600% more than the second placed player, Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer. Not bad considering Grigg didn’t actually set foot on the pitch.
Twitter have published a line-up featuring the players and coach who received the most tweets throughout the tournament.
Global interest in EURO 2016
The UK sent more traffic to the official website than any other country, partially attributed to Wales’ semi-final run. Over 15% of overall traffic came from the UK, with hosts France also contributing significantly to the total.
High traffic from countries outside of Europe, such as the US and Canada, show that it’s not just the World Cup which has international appeal. Making content available in nine languages will have helped other countries get involved, as did the decision to launch a Chinese website in order to capitalise on football’s growing presence there.
Apps and mobile optimisation
UEFA claim that EURO 2016 was the first tournament where they took a mobile-first approach to web design, making this year’s official site the first one to be responsive. Over 140 million visits were made to the site on desktop and mobile as a result.
The remaining 160 million visits came from the suite of mobile apps developed to accompany the competition. Over 13.5 million users downloaded these apps and used them to access information such as live data and stats, insight from on-site reporters, and photos of match action.
The biggest UEFA European Championship ever
In UEFA’s own words, UEFA EURO 2016 was “officially the biggest UEFA European Championship ever” both on and off the pitch. With 24 teams competing and 2.4 millions fans watching the 51 games across 10 cities in France, the tournament has never seen more action.
It’ll be interesting to see how this off-field success carries over to the next tournament in four years’ time, when UEFA break even more ground by playing games in 13 different countries across Europe.