Canon - Football’s creative partner Overview of Canon’s sponsorship of UEFA EURO 2004™

London, June 10, 2004 - Canon has traditionally been one of football’s biggest fans and the company’s support of UEFA EURO 2004™ continues a relationship with ‘the beautiful game’ that spans over 25 years and includes sponsorship of:

  • Champions League (1995-2000)
  • World Cup (1978-1998)
  • UEFA European Football Championship (1980-1996)

As an Official Partner of UEFA EURO 2004™, Canon will be supplying a range of multifunctional black & white and colour printer/copiers and customising a selection through MEAP for workflow needs in the media centre. In addition it will also be assisting news photographers attending the event, by providing camera and lens maintenance service depots at media centres in 10 different cities in Portugal where games will be played.

In support of its sponsorship, Canon has implemented a range of pan-European and local marketing initiatives, positioning the brand as playful and imaginative, sharing many characteristics with football and linking it to creativity and excellence in sport and sports photography.

Canon’s pan-European broadcast push will be spearheaded with a series of television ads with the strapline ‘With Imagination’ to launch the Canon Finger Football concept and supported by the unique Canon Creative Play ratings, ranking players for creativity during a match which will be broadcast on Eurosport throughout the tournament. Elsewhere Canon’s ‘You Can’ philosophy, which encourages personal growth through digital technology, is demonstrated by Canon FanFoto, giving amateur photographers a unique chance to experience life as a professional, photographing a UEFA EURO 2004™ – pitchside!

UEFA EURO 2004™ Media Centre
At the main Media Centres in Lisbon and Porto (Benfica’s Estádio da Luz and Porto FC’s Estádio do Dragão), journalists will see the world’s first installation of Canon’s innovative MEAP(Multifunctional Embedded Application Platform) software platform at a major international sporting event. MEAP is Canon’s unique, java-based, platform for multifunctional products, which enables ‘traditional’ printer/copiers to be customised to meet a wide variety of business needs.

Specifically for the tournament, a customised MEAP application has been developed, which will enable journalists to access real-time match scores directly from the printer/copier. This will allow them to make last-minute changes to documents before being sent to publications and editors around the world. Journalists will also be able to securely distribute hand written or printed notes on email, through its eCopy solution, to anywhere in the World at any time.

Camera & Lens Service Depots
Canon will also be operating camera & lens service depots to support the needs of professional photographers for every one of the 31 matches (at 10 different stadia) throughout the tournament. Canon technicians and professional photography representatives will have on hand over 100 pro camera bodies, 280 pro lenses and over 30 flash units to help them maintain and arrange loans of Canon equipment to the 800 professional photographers on location to cover the event.

The Canon FanFoto Gallery
In March of this year, Canon and UEFA launched Canon FanFoto, a groundbreaking web-based photo gallery and competition hosted on the Official Website of the UEFA 2004 European Championships™,

From early March to mid-May, more than 1700 unique images were uploaded to the site by aspiring amateur photographers and more than 268,000 images were sent as e-cards. The site itself received almost 100,000 unique users with 694,000 page views recorded. The FanFoto winning image "Cheering" was taken by Arnoud Rob from the Netherlands. As the grand prize winner, Arnoud received a complete Canon EOS 300D kit and will receive comprehensive training from a professional photographer from Getty Images and a pitchside pass to attend and photograph the action at the UEFA EURO 2004™ Netherlands v Czech Republic match on June 19 in Aveiro.

The Shot – Canon Pro Gallery
Hot on the heels of the FanFoto Gallery, Canon will this week launch ‘The Shot’ – an online gallery of the best professional images from each game throughout the tournament, hosted on the official UEFA Euro 2004 website Visitors to the gallery will be invited to vote for their favourite shot – supplied by Getty Image’s renowned professional sports photographers – to determine an overall ‘Shot of the Tournament’. Canon products can be won by voters throughout the tournament.

Finger Football
‘Finger Football’ is Canon Europe’s €18 million plus pan-European advertising campaign, designed to link the company’s ‘You Can’ brand platform to its sponsorship of UEFA EURO 2004™ through themes of creativity and imagination.

The campaign depicts office workers from across Europe using Canon products to create postcard sized pictures of their favourite stars. By inserting their fingers through the cards and using them as ‘legs’, they are able to create miniature ‘finger footballers’ and use their imagination to take part in a desktop version of UEFA EURO 2004™.

The 20 and 30 second television ads debuted on Eurosport on May 24 and will air during live tournament coverage on terrestrial TV channels in 25 countries. The broadcast campaign will be supported by print advertising in at least four key European territories including France, Netherlands, Belgium and Italy.

Over 200,000 limited-edition Finger Football game packs have been used as promotional gifts and competition prizes across Europe and over seven million specially designed beer mats were also distributed in bars, pubs and clubs, allowing fans to play Finger Football for themselves.

Canon Creative Play Campaign
Throughout the UEFA European Championships™, viewers of pan-European sports broadcast channel, Eurosport, will be shown the tournament’s most creative pieces of football and asked to vote for their favourite by SMS or online at a specially created ‘Canon Creative Play’ microsite on At the end of the tournament, Canon and Eurosport will announce the ‘Most Creative Play’ and the ‘Most Creative Player’ of Euro 2004.

In addition, Canon has teamed up with football statistics experts Opta to create the unique ‘Canon Creative Play Index’ that allocates points to players based on their creativity in each match. The index will give fans and expert statisticians alike the chance to define the most imaginative and exciting pieces of skilled football on show this summer.

Canon Display Zones
Football fans at many matches throughout the tournament will be invited to have their photos taken by face-painted Canon ambassadors, brandishing the latest in Canon digital camera and direct printing technologies. Each fan will then be given a card with a ‘unique number’ on it which will allow them to visit a website  (  and download their image or email it to friends or family, free of charge.

The Earth from Above Exhibition
Visitors to the Lisbon-based matches of the tournament are encouraged to visit the Canon-sponsored ‘Earth from Above’ free outdoor exhibition, which is open 24 hours at Praça Do Comércio, 1100 Lisbon.

The brainchild of French photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand, Earth from Above is a portrait of our planet – comprising 120 photographs from all around the world taken from helicopters on Canon professional EOS camera bodies fitted with Canon's professional series EF lenses. Earth from Above has been visited by over 50 million people around the world and has been shown in more than 30 countries.

Media enquiries, please contact:
Ann Morgan
Corporate PR Manager, Canon Europe
t: +44 (0) 20 8588 8000

Bruce Haase
Manager, Events & Sponsoring
t: +31 20 545 8727

Can't find what you are looking for?  Why not visit our News Archive to search our news database for a specific item.



Further Information
Canon Europe