Advertisers are the Real Winners of the 2014 World Cup

By idfive \ July 1, 2014

Every four years, the FIFA World Cup transforms hundreds of millions of people all over the world into crazed soccer fans. For about a month, it seems that the world is overcome with soccer—or ‘futbol’—mania. And any time that millions of viewers are focused on the same event, advertisers win.

The World Cup presents incredible opportunities for advertisers to connect with consumers and deliver brand messaging through digital and traditional media. According to Nielsen, the June 22nd match between the United States and Portugal was the most watched soccer game in American history. The game was simulcast on ESPN and Univision, recording 18.2 million and 6.5 million viewers respectively, for a combined 24.7 million viewers. The sheer volume of the audience attracts a range or marketers: traditional, mobile, and digital advertising revenues are expected to grow 6.4% to $516 billion in 2014 as a result of large events such as the World Cup, Sochi Winter Olympics, and U.S. midterm elections.

Fans are hooked and not just on T.V. either—with the expansion of digital media, advertisers can interact with audiences around the world in real time (according to Twitter, 77% of its accounts are outside of the United States). Marketers are able to change campaigns and real-time media buys in an instant reacting to user trends online: Spredfast released research that exhibits the changes in activity by language since the start of the games. It also presents a gold mine for relevant content that allows advertisers to connect with consumers. Following Luis Suarez’s biting incident in Tuesday’s game, several brands responded on social media with clever pictures and witty posts suggesting that their products would have been better options than biting an opponent.

The FIFA World Cup is a rare occasion for advertisers to engage with consumers, display their creative and strategic prowess, and reap the rewards of millions of eyeballs focused in one place.

Authored by: Max Kellner