Surge in sponsorship deals for The Three Lions amid the Nations League and World Cup euphoria

Surge in sponsorship deals for The Three Lions amid the Nations League and World Cup euphoria

After failing to get out of the group stage at the 2014 World Cup, England fans booked their tickets to the 2018 World Cup in Russia more in hope than expectation. Social media was the platform for fans to joke about the team’s chances, posting “It’s Coming Home” ironically, nodding to a song that was to become ubiquitous throughout the summer. It was a joke; until England beat Panama 5-1 and the joke turned into more of a reality.

And the fans really bought into the World Cup fever.

Indeed, it was not just the fans but also the England players who enjoyed the positive atmosphere too. Jesse Lingard earned over 300,000 likes with a picture of him holding a phone….

As a consequence, the nation was able to reconnect with its national team after years of disappointment. England may not have won the tournament, but the Three Lions definitely won the social media World Cup.

But if you thought this would stop after the World Cup, how wrong you were. Now that England have qualified for the semi-finals of the Nations League, after beating Croatia 2-1 in their final match at Wembley, the ‘It’s Coming Home’ phenomenon is well and truly back.

English fans were unsure how to feel about this new competition: were these games just ‘glorified friendlies’ or important competitive matches? Harry Kane’s late goal answered the question for good – and it seems ‘It’s Coming Home’ has been updated to fit with modern memes:

Even some celebrities took to social media to celebrate England’s recent success.

The World Cup changed the tone of England’s social media presence. The fans truly believe in their potential, English people are enthusiastic about the team again. And this has carried over into the Nations League and probably beyond. It is now a cool thing to do.

In short, social media has managed to turn this slogan into a real brand which will last possibly for a generation.

Some companies have even launched special clothing ranges for the occasion (!) as “It’s Coming Home” has become a sign of recognition and identity for fans.

Everything related to the national team has truly become a commercial opportunity for brands. Even Gareth Southgate’s waistcoat became the centre of attention and Mark and Spencer – the official supplier of the England team – sold out as demand was so high. England’s image has changed massively as a result of the hype.

This is a real boost for England’s potential commercial partnerships. A year ago, lead sponsor Vauxhall parted way after their seven-year partnership, as did Carlsberg, who ended their 22-year contract with the England team. Advertisers were becoming wary of associating with the FA because of how the team was perceived. That’s all changed now.

Some brands have launched special campaigns just to promote the Three Lions on the back of changed perceptions: Iceland and Budweiser capitalised on the buzz. More and more advertisers are attracted by a fresh squad that engages so many people around the country – and on social media especially. The FA is also set to receive millions of pounds from the increase in affection for the England team’s brand.

Brands catch World Cup fever as England prepares for semi-final: The World Cup 2018 blog

All this has truly reshaped the nation’s relationship with internationals football – and brands must now be aware of this new era of the England national team.

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