The matchday experience at UEFA EURO 2012 has been given heightened flavour thanks to the FANtertainment programme that is being delivered live to spectators before, during and after the 31 matches in Poland and Ukraine.
Fans are getting outstanding value for money when they turn up at each of the eight venues, with local entertainers relishing a fantastic opportunity to show off their skills and provide exactly what is needed for spectators – FANtertainment guaranteed.
FANtertainment is a three-hour pre-match programme taking place before kick-off at each game. It also keeps the supporters hooked during the half-time interval and after the final whistle, which has had a positive impact on the overall UEFA EURO 2012 matchday experience.
FANtertainment is more than just a show for the fans; it is an entertaining production geared towards making spectators part of the unique EURO experience. Giant screen content is being used to enthrall and unite the fans inside the stadium, as well as supplying information about the teams.
Literally thousands of local artists and performers are captivating the supporters courtesy of FANtertainment. Some 850 performers gave distinguished displays at the spectacular opening ceremony which kicked off UEFA EURO 2102 at the National Stadium Warsaw on 8 June. A Polish choir, the Academic Choir of Warsaw University, recorded the national anthems and performed at the opening ceremony, while a Ukrainian choir – the Choir of the Kyiv Municipal Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre – will do the same at the final at Kyiv's Olympic Stadium on 1 July.
Since then, not only have the matches themselves had the fans spellbound – two live music bands have kept the temperature high at each venue, together with a DJ. For those interested in special football skills, four football freestylers have been showing their gymnastic abilities and ease with a football at each stadium. Stilt walkers, eight per venue, have especially excited younger supporters.
Both sets of fans are taken into consideration within the FANtertainment experience. There are two team speakers from both of the participating countries for every venue, and they join one host speaker and one official speaker. A full outside broadcast crew is present to film the various activities, and a total of 24 volunteers – the dedicated band of enthusiasts who have done so much to make UEFA EURO 2012 such a positive competition – are on hand to give help at every stadium.
Pre-match ceremonies have been held before each game, excluding the opening and closing matches. The first half of the ceremony has been dedicated to the host city, which has meant a different approach in every venue, while the second half has been similar in all eight host cities and symbolises the values of EURO 2012: rivalry, unity and passion. Music for all pre-match ceremonies at the eight venues was specially composed by a young Polish composer, Paweł Pudło.
Fans who attended the opening game or any of the knockout phase matches can have photographic proof with UEFA.com's extraordinary I Was There application. Using stunning 360 degree photographs of all the venues at kick-off, UEFA.com users are being encouraged to find themselves in the crowd and tag their photo – creating a permanent record for everyone who witnessed the spectacle.
In addition, the countdown to kick-off made by the fans - deployed for the first time at UEFA EURO 2012 - has been a great success. On the giant screens, a 10-second video is played, and the fans count backwards from 10 to zero, at which point the referee blows his whistle to start the match.
The work to put the FANtertainment concept in place has been unstinting. Following the development, planning and implementation of the concept, came the design and production of giant screen graphics, the preparation of video content, animation props, the recruitment of host presenters and producers for each of the eight stadiums and assiduous work to nail down the overall on-site coordination.
FANtertainment has meant realising a project that employs 1,760 professionals and 155 hours of entertainment. The stunning results have been there for all to see – live entertainment for the fans at major matches has definitely taken on a brilliant new dimension.
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