Co-hosted by Poland and Ukraine, the 2012 UEFA Euro Cup spanned from June 8th to July 1st, 2012, setting record-breaking attendance numbers for the venerable tournament. ESPN’s worldwide broadcast of the highly competitive games celebrates the union of teams all around Europe, and fans across the globe. 16 teams, 368 elite athletes, all vied for the revered Henri Delaunay Trophy, with more than a hundred million fans watching the spectacle.

ESPN and Prologue share a storied history, uniting on projects including the 2010 FIFA World Cup, ESPN Films: 30 for 30, ESPN E60, and Baseball Tonight. The premiere sports network enlisted Prologue to create the opening broadcast graphics for the 2012 Euro Cup.

With the monumental scope of this event, our approach was to embody the joviality of the respective countries amalgamating in competition. The 16 qualified teams were split into four groups. From these four groups, we selected 1 to 2 teams from each to be featured in the sequence (Russia, Sweden, Spain, Ireland, Portugal and the Netherlands). The opening broadcast is comprised of entirely CG elements; the natural looking environments that emulate the represented country, the towering animated emblems, and the two EUFA Euro Cup 2012 plates. After choosing the teams, the next step was to look at the coat of arms each wears, and evaluate which components would work as an animated device. After this analytical phase, we began the investigative process of determining a backdrop that would epitomize and pay obeisance to each country. This orientation was contrived with a mythical presence, an introduction to the kingdoms participating in the games. For the type that animates on with the corresponding nation, we aimed for a clean, bold design that would resonate with new audiences and those accustomed to the definitive crimson ESPN logo. What results is a fanciful and commemorative opening to one of the most celebrated events in sports.

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