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That’s why Check24 gave away five million jerseys

That’s why Check24 gave away five million jerseys
That’s why Check24 gave away five million jerseys

The campaign is said to have cost around 100 million euros: the comparison portal Check24 gave away five million Germany jerseys for the European Championship. The logo, however, looks different – deliberately.

This is original content from the Capital brand. This article will be available for ten days on stern.de. After that, you will find it exclusively on capital.de. Capital, like the star to RTL Germany.

You can’t miss them on the fan mile and in the tram, even Tiktok is full of them: With its Germany jerseys, which Check24 has given away millions of times, the comparison portal has already pulled off the biggest marketing coup of the European Championship. The brand and jersey are currently the talk of the town; the shirt is all over the place; young women report on which outfits they combine the jersey with. “I was very happy about that and had to smile,” says Check24 founder Henrich Blase in an interview about the impact of his campaign. They had hoped for success on social media, but no one had expected it to be this big.

The publicity-shy company boss spoke to Finance Forward for the first time about the campaign, which is said to be the “biggest marketing campaign in the history of Check24”. That’s saying something for a digital company that has been pumping millions of euros into television advertising and sponsoring football broadcasts for years. But with the jersey campaign, Blase is entering new dimensions: By the end of the week, Check24 will have sent out around five million shirts. A tangible effect: The comparison portal’s app has regularly been at the top of the app store charts for weeks.

Streaming comparison and prediction game

Blase came up with the idea together with his co-founder Eckard Juls, and the decision was made last autumn. Both founded and built up the company, and after 25 years they still hold all the reins. They still own a large part of the company’s shares today; there are no major investors. , which once started in the insurance business, has grown strongly in recent years – and is one of the major players in the travel and mobile phone market. There are hardly any public business figures, but one thing is clear: The company is one of the most powerful digital providers in this country. And it is clear how it is venturing into ever new sectors.

With the marketing campaign, Blase and Juls are now targeting the football market. Following the European Championship prediction game, which is linked to the jersey campaign, there will also be a regular Bundesliga prediction game and a streaming comparison on the portal in the future. “For example, you can see where you can watch all the football games or highlights,” says Blase. It has founded its own company for this purpose, as “” has already discovered.

Check24: Jerseys as an “extra booster”

In a year with a European Championship in their own country, which also bears similarities to their own brand as “EM 24”, Check24 wanted to attract attention. The campaign with a free jersey was concocted in order to get an “extra boost”, said Blase. Similar campaigns had already been carried out by other companies, “but it was not the quality of a manufacturer like Puma”. In the spring, the company then boosted production in factories in Turkey and China.

The original goals were much more conservative. “Anything over a million would have been a success, we had ordered 1.5 million,” said the founder. Since May, the company has started to increase its production due to high demand – up to five million, which are now due to be delivered by the end of this week. A major effort for the whole team, at one point the company was sending out 400,000 jerseys a day. The campaign has now been stopped – and the jerseys are already being offered on eBay for amounts between 15 and 85 euros.

But what is the idea behind it? The founder emphasizes: “We have not calculated in an Excel spreadsheet how much a new customer costs us – for us it is a long-term investment in the Check24 brand.” Nevertheless, the marketing campaign is designed to attract as many new customers as possible to the cosmos of the comparison portal.

The app as an anchor

For example, you have to download the company’s app to get the jersey. The comparison portal has been focusing its development on this for years. On every match day there are countless winners in the European Championship prediction game, to whom the company mainly gives out travel vouchers. The overall winner receives a voucher worth 240,000 euros, and the value of all vouchers is said to be 24 million euros. It is a way of getting customers to use Check24 for the first time.

The prediction game is also intended to ensure that jersey owners continue to use the app regularly. “There has to be a real benefit, then people will come,” says Blase. In the app, every user can also comment on the games – this is how Check24 wants to build an active football community.

Of the five million people who signed up for the app to receive the jersey, only a fraction will return after the tournament. But Check24 will try to keep as many of them as possible in the cosmos – as the voucher campaign shows. Consumer advocates are already criticizing the fact that you pay for the jersey with your data. But many people are probably aware of this deal.

Guerrilla marketing instead of perimeter advertising

For Check24, the jersey campaign is also a way to rejuvenate itself – the typical user is actually older than 30. The jersey campaign has succeeded in doing this, says Blase. “They won’t buy insurance from Check24 straight away, but they might book a trip or look for a new cell phone contract.”

A success that Check24 has spent a lot of money on. Blase does not reveal exactly how much. But you can do the math: The pure production costs for the official DFB jersey from Adidas are said to be 11.30 euros. The price for the Puma jerseys is likely to be lower, but shipping and logistics costs are added on. This means the pure costs are likely to be around 50 million euros, plus there is an enormous marketing budget. For example, former national player Lukas Podolski has recently appeared in the comparison portal’s advertisement. The total amount is likely to be around 100 million euros, according to estimates by industry insiders.

The fact that Check24 has taken a more creative approach and not simply bought its way into football stadiums as a perimeter sponsor is an additional advantage: This way, the brand gets free reach via social media, is also visible and has no wastage with an international audience that largely cannot use the comparison platform at all. Check24 is particularly strong in Germany.

The Munich-based company has deliberately chosen a path without the German Football Association. The portal is not an official partner, which is why the logo looks different. A legal problem? No, says Henrich Blase. “The eagle was generated using AI and is far enough away from the official DFB logo.”

It is not known how many jerseys Adidas will be able to sell for the European Championship. However, there is a comparison figure for 2014: In the year of the last World Cup title, sales were three million jerseys – a record up to that point. But Check24 and Puma have now easily surpassed that mark.

Collaboration: Charlotte Rick

This text first appeared on Finance Forward, an industry portal from Capital and OMR that reports on the latest developments in the fintech, banking and crypto world. If you are interested in news and background information on start-ups such as Trade Republic, N26 or Klarna, you can subscribe to the FFWD newsletter here:

Source: Stern

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