Marketing Lessons We Learned Watching the World Cup

Soccer, or football as its known in many parts of the world, has been a popular pastime since the 2nd and 3rd centuries with roots tracing back to ancient China. Today the sport remains huge the world over, with FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) raking in an estimated $700 million annually.


Like the Olympics, the international competition happens in a different city once every four years. Kick off at the 2014 FIFA World CupTM began June 12th in Brazil. Whether you’re rooting for your favorite team in the confines of your home or with a large group at your local watering hole, the game’s energy is almost infectious. Even non-sports fans come out of the works for this one.



World Cup Marketing Tips- Metropolitan Display


In the end, the team that claims the trophy will do so based on their hours of practice, meticulous preparation, and expertly executed strategy. The same can be said of the World Cup’s many sponsors and companies turning a profit with their effective advertising campaigns. After all, when the world is watching you have to bring your A-game.


So what are some examples and best practices you can implement into your next marketing campaign? While this list is by no means exhaustive, here are a few of our favorites:


1. Start where people are already talking: Social media.


Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube are abuzz with FIFA’s “Social Stadium”. It’s all World Cup all the time.


But just how big can social media engagement around the World Cup? Well, a lot. Just four hashtags command about 350 thousand tweets everyday. What’s even cooler is the way FIFA has connected with multilingual users via Twitter accounts in several different languages including French, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch and Arabic.


It’s a global world, and not everyone in it speaks English. What are your biggest markets outside of the U.S.?


2. Your Brand is only a piece of it. Engage, engage, engage. 


Let’s take sports apparel brand Adidas, for example.  Listed as one of FIFA’s official partners, the company has been supplying the official match ball since 1970. They tapped into a very passionate audience and effectively engaged fans the world over by asking fans to vote on the ball’s name. In total, over 1 million people weighed in.

Using social media contests such as this one are a great way to involve your following and allow their voices to be heard- something most people crave.


3. Be creative, and insert yourself into the mix. 


You don’t have to be a FIFA partner to get your brand in front of the global stage.While Adidas may have it easier since they are directly on the field, other, more unexpected companies also find a way to connect to the game.


Be it a play on words where you link your brand to the match, or a celebrity endorsement from a player, there are many ways to capitalize.


Never thought about doing a global marketing campaign? Now’s a great time to start- the world is watching! Sit this one out and you’ll be waiting another four years. Get in the game!


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