As Euro 2024 officially kicked off on Friday, BBC’s official trailer for the tournament hit television screens. Title sequences, particularly in the United Kingdom, are an important part of watching major soccer competitions. BBC, for instance, initially created a hit trailer for the 1990 World Cup. The network used Luciano Pavarotti’s version of Nessun Dorma to set the mood for their coverage of the competition.

While FOX Sports is handling coverage of Euro 2024 here in the United States, BBC and ITV are splitting the presentation of the tournament on UK TV. The two British television networks previously purchased broadcasting rights to the competition to be played in Germany. BBC will air 27 total matches throughout the tournament, while ITV handles the remaining games. Both networks, however, have agreed to share broadcasting of the final.

Title sequence features miniature versions of soccer stars in game of pinball

The official trailer for BBC’s coverage of Euro 2024 centers around a game of pinball. The pinball itself in the video resembles a soccer ball. As a commentator introduces the tournament, the ball races towards a pitch guided by metal rails. A plastic figure of Scotland‘s John McGinn then kicks the ball off of a pinball version of Virgil van Dijk’s head.

The ball then bounces off of bumpers that resemble Croatian flags and into the mouth of Luka Modric. Miniature figures of Spanish and Italian players are then represented as well. As the ball continues on, an eight-armed referred carrying red and yellow cards guides it to rails that lead towards pinball paddles. The paddles, which are golden soccer boots, kick the pinball around England duo Harry Kane and Jude Bellingham.

As the ball looks certain to end up in a plastic goal, Italy‘s Gianluigi Donnarumma blocks it to push it out towards painted figures of France‘s squad. Figures representing Germany, Portugal, and Belgium then pop up and finally kick three different balls into a net.

Producers wanted to invoke memories of 80s video games

Along with the visuals, match audio commentary plays throughout the trailer. An instrumental version of Welcome to the DCC by Nothing but Thieves also underlines the entire title sequence. Senior producer Aaron Bentley recently explained the art direction of the trailer.

“We wanted to make sure it felt immersive and like you were traveling through the [pinball] machine,” Bentley told the BBC. He continued on to say that the crew added “plasticky sounds to make it feel more like a pinball machine” and specific noises to conjure nostalgic feelings for classic video games.

“With all its action, emotion and unexpected previous winners, the Euros is more unpredictable than most international tournaments,” added BBC exec Rasmus Smith Bech. “A giant, mad Euros pinball machine felt like the appropriate canvas to bring that beautiful excitement to life.”

The tournament began on Friday, as hosts Germany thumped Scotland 5-1 in Munich. Three more matches are scheduled to play each day until the group stage completes on June 26th. The knockout rounds will then begin three days later. Euro 2024 is scheduled to finish with the final being played in Berlin on July 14th.

Photo credit: IMAGO / PA Images