James Shoreland on CNBC


Agency News



James Shoreland, CEO of VCCP Media, was interviewed by Silvia Amaro live on CNBC this morning, as UEFA Euro 2024 kicks off in Germany today.

James delved into the growing importance of sponsorship in major sporting events, coinciding with the kickoff of the Euro Football Championships in Germany. James spoke about some of VCCP's collaborations with sports stars such as Declan Rice's Müller Rice campaign, illustrating the powerful impact of these partnerships on brand growth and audience engagement.

Silvia: “The Euro 2024 football tournament is set to kick off in Germany today with Scotland taking on the host nation in Munich. The competition is set to bring in €1.4bn in broadcast rights revenue for organisers UEFA, higher than the €1.4bn recorded in 2021. Now sponsorship has been secured for 13 global partners and five companies focused on Germany.

“The Chinese EV maker BYD has joined the ranks of global sponsors for the event after German auto giant Volkswagen declined to renew its own agreement. I'm pleased to say that James Shoreland, CEO of VCCP Media, is joining me now to discuss this in more detail. Good morning, James. It's very exciting this weekend and this month for football fans, no doubt. First and foremost, I just would like to understand what are the dynamics here? Who are the companies choosing to advertise during the Euros?”

James: “There are lots of reasons why brands want to get involved with the Euros, but I think you can hone in on probably two, which is eyeballs and emotions. So, if you think about eyeballs, the ability of sports, particularly football, to bring together an audience in one moment is actually unrivalled. So the last European final, which for English fans is a bit of a sore moment, but losing to Italy, that game played out amongst about 328m people across the world watching on TV. So for brands, 328m people watching the same thing at the same time and then talking about it the next day; that is unrivalled for a brand in terms of marketing.”

Silvia: “There's definitely a lot of people watching for sure, but ultimately, my question is whether this investment actually works. I just want to share this data with you because I did find some research showing that there's only a minimal difference in terms of consumer recognition of brands after such big investments like this. Ultimately, is this the right move for companies?

James: “Yeah, there's no doubt that it's a huge investment for any brand. But if you look at the dynamics of the portfolios of the brands involved now, let's just take the 13 global sponsors. So, in terms of the commercial rights revenue, UEFA are going to make about $600m - so it's not a small ticket item. Now those 13 brands would bid against each other. It's not just about consumer recognition. So there's five of the brands that you touched upon earlier that are from China.

“Now those Chinese brands have probably experienced a decline in sales in their home market, certainly a decline in some of their share prices. So for any ambitious brand, they need to go to different geographies. So what those Chinese brands are doing and BYD, as you pointed out - edging out Volkswagen, if you like, as a mobility partner - is not only can they reach consumers, but there's a lot of geopolitics that goes on involved here that, actually, you can open the door to doing business in different markets by talking to local politicians, local regulators, and, of course, local suppliers in a very positive manner. 

Silvia: “It is very interesting how so many of the Chinese companies are actually investing in the Euros at this stage. Elaborate a little bit more why they're doing that. You're explaining that there's the possibility here for expansion. A lot of them want to have a bigger expansion in Europe. What else? What is driving this move from the Chinese brands?

James: “I think there is a push and pull factor. So as we mentioned earlier in terms of the Chinese economy, they've got to demonstrate to both shareholders and indeed their sort of local supply base that they have the ambition. And what demonstrates ambition more than rather than just simply advertising within a local market, but going in and making a real statement of intent implying a sense of scale? But also for local suppliers, a real sense of commitment to the region. There's 500m citizens in the EU. So, actually, in terms of a brand coming from China, given perhaps some negative perceptions about Chinese brands - spending that amount of money in a regional event such as that that has a global scale is a real sort of underlining of their commitment to the region, and they're there for the long term.”

Silvia: “And any idea in terms of how much spending on advertising has actually increased in recent years? Or actually, are they being a little bit careful in terms of how much they are spending on advertising?” 

James: “Well, interestingly, they're spending on advertising. So some of the TV stations here in the UK, for example, are estimating an increase of anywhere between 40 to 50% increase. Now that's obviously you would say that's kind of coming from the the sellers of airtime, but an interesting fact that came out from the UK marketplace, of the 187 brands that are advertising within airtime around the sport, 30 or 40, of them are actually new - it's the first time they've ever done that. So that's a recognition of the growth of the popularity of the sport, particularly coming from the US in terms of the rights being sold there, but also the kind of scarcity of the ability for a brand to do this in any other arena. Sports and particularly football is a great opportune moment to  get a live audience.

Silvia: “True. And we are seeing a lot more interest in other parts of the world.It's not just a European sport anymore even though this is a European competition. 

“Now the most important question I'm going to ask you today, what is your prediction for the final? Who do you think will be the two teams making it to the final match? 

James: “Well, that's such a tricky question. I'm an Arsenal fan, so I'm used to the highs and lows of football. So my heart says England, of course. You want England and Declan Rice, a player that we at VCCP work with, but my head tells me it's gonna be France. So I've got a prediction. England vs France final, and I'm afraid it's sacre bleu for the English fan.”

Silvia: “Well, let's see how it's gonna turn out, but definitely, you know a lot of hearts are moving a little bit faster in the wake of that call.I can hear it in the newsroom already! That was James Shoreland, CEO of VCCP Media as we look at the Euros starting today. And, of course, a lot of action coming up throughout the month.”