TikTok was the global digital entertainment sponsor of UEFA EURO 2020 and aimed to establish itself as a home for football fans to share their passion for
the game – as well as driving awareness with new audiences.
There was a combination of official and unofficial voices expressing their passions, interests and reactions towards the tournament through the shortform video medium.
TikTok provided a base for younger, female audiences to subvert and ridicule archaic, misogynist tropes still active in the football conversation.
The female fan community on TikTok revealed a new football experience where girls share their interest in the matches and players in a unique format.
Popular hashtags #EurosForGirls and #girlsfootball attracted significant new audiences on the official digital fan entertainment channel.
The girls behind the Euro 2020-related TikToks used popular platform features like greenscreen filters, overlayed with TV footage and contextualised by TikToker commentaries throughout.
TikTokers such as Abi Sykes delivered serious messages by using a disarmingly humorous tone of voice.
Abi confronted haters with a TikTok entitled Only been going to football since I was 4, which blend- ed classic TikTok dance and music formats with clichéd, gaslighting put-downs such as, ‘name all 26 players / you are only watching because you fancy them all / what is the offside rule’.
Football players, like Alice, expressed what it feels like to be a girl in football by exposing ancient prejudices towards women’s football.
The video I hope this clears some stuf f up lists the questions people ask her as a girl who plays football, ‘Are you gay/ Do you do it just for boy attention/ Do you actually enjoy it though.’
Each dumb question on screen is answered with her reductive, acerbic retorts.
The female gaze on TikTok trended with #grealish and #therealreasonwewatchfootball attracting most attention.
Top female TikTokers, like Grace Keeling, received 6.3m views for her two-part comic video series, How many shots would it take me to get with the England team, which irreverently attributed England players’ attractiveness, using the humble shot-glass as the metric.
Jack Grealish was the most popular England footballer with female football TikTokers during the England-Denmark game.
Off-the-ball footage of the attacking midfielder with his hands on head, eyes seductively fixed on the TV cameras was repeatedly played back in highly engaging TikToks from influential female fans.
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