The World Cup Draw on Friday revealed not just a great opportunity for the England team to progress to the hallowed knockout stages, but also for domestic sponsors to capitalise on their good fortune. A tricky route through to the last 16 can understandably spark hesitation for brands looking to base marketing activity around England, but this time the conditions look right for some big spending on media.
When it was revealed that England would be taking on Tunisia, Belgium and firm underdogs Panama come June, marketers planning to jump on the England bandwagon may well have breathed a sigh of relief. The chances of a repeat of 2014’s Group Stage exit looks slim: now comes the opportunity to ride the wave of enthusiasm from fans (hopefully) enjoying some good early results.
In a survey of 1,800 football fans from Snack Media’s network of 25m+ to find out how supporters will consume the 2018 World Cup, the results revealed unsurprisingly that less than 5% of fans will be making the trip to Russia to watch the action. Where England fans will be watching in great numbers is at home on TV: with 85% of those polled stating that they will be tuning in on the box, live TV is clearly still the main viewing destination.
On that basis, traditional TV advertising will be key – great news for ITV! But it also means that second-screen social media consumption will be crucial too, and this presents a major opportunity for marketers to create connections with fans in real time. With just 16% planning to watch in the pub, it follows that the main companion for those tuning in will not be their mates: instead, it will most likely be their second-screen social media.
Even when England do inevitably crumble, for marketers looking to tap into some domestic sentiment around the World Cup there will always be that most English of favourites: the underdog. In fact, more than half of those surveyed said they will switch to supporting the underdog if the Three Lions tumble out.
All the ingredients are there for a successful World Cup in the marketing stakes, from both official and unofficial sponsors. All that’s left now is to pray that Gareth Southgate’s men can do the job!