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UEFA EURO 2016 sets new digital standards

The biggest UEFA European Championship ever was mirrored on UEFA's digital platforms, with almost 300 million visits to EURO2016.com and the official apps during the tournament.

UEFA EURO 2016 sets new digital standards
UEFA EURO 2016 sets new digital standards ©AFP/Getty Images

With 24 teams competing across 10 host cities and 2.4 million spectators attending an unprecedented total of 51 matches, UEFA EURO 2016 was officially the biggest UEFA European Championship ever.

The success of the tournament was mirrored on UEFA’s digital platforms, where previous traffic records were shattered. Almost 300 million visits and 1.5 billion page impressions were generated by the official EURO2016.com website and mobile apps between the eve of the tournament on 9 June and the day after the final on 11 July – almost four times the levels reached during UEFA EURO 2012.

A mobile-first approach was adopted for the first time ever at a EURO, with the website design responsive to screen size for optimal content consumption. The desktop and mobile versions attracted an audience of over 140 million visits, driven by the success of the revamped MatchCentre.

Featuring live data and statistics, insight and analysis from on-site reporters and photos of the action on fans’ screens within 30 seconds of the event, EURO2016.com was the online destination for fans following the tournament.

A suite of mobile apps were also developed as part of the biggest integrated digital delivery ever made for a UEFA European Championship, with over 13.5 million users downloading and generating a further 160 million visits.

The official UEFA EURO 2016 app was complemented by the Fan Guide app for supporters travelling in France, as well as the hugely popular apps for McDonalds Fantasy Football and Hyundai Predictor.

Wales's magnificent run to the semi-finals helped ensure the United Kingdom was the biggest source of visits with over 15% of overall traffic. Unsurprisingly, the host nation France also contributed considerably to the total, with users from Germany, the United States, Spain, Italy and Canada also showing a major interest.

Content was available in nine languages, including a Chinese website hosted in China to optimise the user experience. Launched shortly before the tournament, the new website continues to grow and will be a major source of traffic in years to come.

UEFA EURO 2016 also proved hugely engaging on social media, with UEFA-produced content seen by over 3 billion across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. More than 15 million fans followed the competition’s official channels, driving over 70 million interactions.

On Facebook, 195 million users triggered 950 million interactions to make the tournament the biggest sporting event of the year on the platform. Over 45 million joined the conversation as Portugal beat France in the final, resulting in a record 146 million reactions, shares and comments.

UEFA helped to swell that number through several innovations, including the live streaming of all official training sessions on Facebook, 360-degree photos and videos and bespoke animations to celebrate the best of the action.

The official tournament hashtag, #EURO2016 complete with trophy emoji, was used more than 26 million times on Twitter as 109 million tweets were sent, 14.2 million of them pertaining to the final. The best of these were displayed on giant screens at all venues before and during matches.

The innovation continued on Instagram where photography taken from official media days with all 24 teams proved wildly popular, as did real-time photography from matches.

Given the unprecedented success of the official UEFA EURO 2016 digital platforms, many of the features will be rolled out across UEFA.com and the various mobile applications over the course of the coming season to ensure fans can look forward to yet more unrivalled coverage in 2016/17.