Topps Euro 2024 sticker album: The only way is up…

toppsThis week we’re back on our quest to discover how brands in mainland Europe treat the UEFA European Football Championships 2024 as we approach the business end of the tournament.

Yep, against all odds, England are still in the competition – for now – but our hunt for pan-European campaigns has proved about as successful as Gareth Southgate’s strikers. (If only we had done a bit more homework we might have realised how tough this “series” was going to be to compile. Ho hum.)

Anyway, we have had to go back – way back – a month or two to find anything other than UK ads, but for those of you who like collecting stuff and are feeling a bit flush, why not rush out to the shops and get your mitts on the official football cards and stickers for the championships to see if you can collect the whole set?

Well, that is the premise of this far from new campaign from Topps, the firm which is owned by US-based sports retailer Fanatics and recently replaced Panini as the sticker rights holder for the 2024 and 2028 Men’s Euros, the 2025 Women’s Euros and UEFA Nations League finals in 2028.

Produced by Hamburg-based ad agency Jung von Matt Sports, it features former Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and Roma coach Jose Mourinho, who now plies his trade at Fenerbahce. To be fair, he’s starred in plenty of ads, too, including spots for Paddy Power, Nordic Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Adidas, American Express, Heineken, Samsung, Top Eleven, Savastore, and BT Sport to name just a few.

Although it is not known whether the ad is running Europe wide, it certainly does have the feel of an international campaign and that is good enough for us.

Opening with a mocked up presentation of how Topps’ agency is planning to promote its collection, the agency introduces a bizarre CGI-fuelled film based in a school, with “the Special One” playing all the roles, including numerous pupils – boys and girls – as well as teachers, and a caretaker.

Eventually, Jose calls a halt to the film and says: “No, no, no, no, no, stop. Mama mia! We don’t need special effects. The UEFA 2024 Topps sticker album is special enough.”

Topps CMO of EMEA Patrick Rausch seems pleased with the campaign. He said: “It’s a real privilege to bring our collectables to fans. It’s only right that we enlist the support of Jose to mark such a special moment in the football calendar, and we’re excited for football fans and collectors alike to celebrate UEFA Euro 2024 with us. Happy collecting!”

So, what is the consensus around the Decision Marketing office?

Well, notwithstanding the fact that Panini has blocked Topps from printing stickers of stars such as Phil FodenBukayo Saka, and John Stones in the official UEFA album, meaning the England pages have been bulked out with uncapped players, you have to ask what’s the point?

We remember way back in the 1970s when this sort of nonsense started; you could never get the whole set and ended up with numerous stickers of players that everyone else had, too. And, while three Nobby Stiles and four Bobby Charltons might have made a great team on the pitch, in a sticker album, it was just annoying and frustrating.

In fact, the only person we have ever known who had a complete album was someone whose dad was a photographer with the right connections who worked at Getty Images.

As for the ad, sadly it is just like Southgate’s England, all rather dull and uninspiring. Still, the only way is up hey gaffer?

Decision Marketing Adometer: A “park the bus”  5 out of 10

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