Wembley Stadium

Behind the scenes with UEFA EURO 2020™

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In 2017, Booking.com and UEFA announced a four-year global partnership, which kicked off last year. As plans for UEFA EURO 2020™ pick up, what are the opportunities for partners?

With tickets set to go on sale next month, football fans across Europe will be setting their sights on their summer 2020 travel plans across the 12 host cities. Last year we entered into a partnership with UEFA that will span the duration of the tournament and beyond, placing Booking.com partners front of mind for travelling teams, officials and fans.

As the Official Accommodation and Attractions Booking Partner for all events between 2018 and 2022, we’ve been working closely with UEFA in recent months to find accommodation for everyone involved in the tournament - from teams, referees and officials to corporate clients, broadcasters and many more.

Supply and demand

“Collaborating with local teams and partners in the 12 European destinations and looking at our data, we’ve been able to provide a broad perspective on the available supply and guidance for all involved,” says Brendan Cartledge, Senior Programme Manager at Booking.com. “Since the host nations were announced in 2013, a lot has evolved in many of these destinations, so a key element of the partnership has been helping navigate those changes - for example, introducing UEFA to new properties in cities where demand now exceeds supply.”

Technology has also been an important part of this process. “We’ve been looking at how we can solve challenges around group bookings for our partners,” says Cartledge. “Traditionally, this is a very manual process, conducted offline and managed by group sales professionals. We’ve been able to reduce that overhead for partners, democratising the layers of communication normally involved in this process and minimising the operational impact.”

Beyond the accommodation need for those directly involved in the tournament, there is also a vast opportunity to host the millions of fans that will travel to support their team.

For many of the corporate bookings the timelines can be complex - while negotiations may be happening now, the actual booking window is likely to fall between December 2019 and March 2020, after the Final Draw on the 30th of November. “Many corporate guests, such as broadcasters, won’t know their schedule until the draw happens so they are unlikely to be able to commit until then. Even still, there is a legitimate reason for these corporate guests to hold rooms now, so that when the draw takes place neither they nor the partner will be starting from scratch."

Welcoming the fans

Beyond the accommodation need for those directly involved in the tournament, there is also a vast opportunity to host the millions of fans that will travel to support their team. Booking.com has been integrated into the UEFA EURO 2020™ ticket booking funnel, so that anyone who is lucky enough to snap up tickets will be directed to tailored search results showing all of the available accommodations close to the stadium and fan zones on the dates of the match in question. Essentially, surfacing all of the accommodation information the fans want to know, and connecting them with partners in the area.

“Once tickets are allocated from the 12th of June, fans will be firming up their travel plans and finding nearby accommodations - from hotels to homes and apartments. It’s a captive audience and level of commitment will be high,” says Cartledge. “Tournaments like UEFA EURO 2020 are all about building memorable experiences, and for partners there’s an amazing opportunity to be part of that story - the festivity and culture - for officials and fans alike.”

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Hero image: credit to Mitch Rosen, Unsplash
  • Booking.com has a global partnership with UEFA National Team Competitions, as the Official Accommodation and Attractions Booking Partner from 2018 to 2022
  • Booking.com has been working with UEFA to find accommodations in all 12 UEFA EURO 2020 host cities: London, England; Baku, Azerbaijan; Munich, Germany; Rome, Italy; Saint Petersburg, Russia; Amsterdam, Netherlands; Bilbao, Spain; Bucharest, Romania; Budapest, Hungary; Copenhagen, Denmark; Dublin, Republic of Ireland; Glasgow, Scotland
  • A number of milestones will trigger accommodation bookings: ticket allocations will take place from the 12th of June 2019, after which fans are likely to start confirming their travel plans; the Final Draw takes place on the 30th of November 2019, finalising destinations for all involved