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FIFA World Cup and Mobile Marketing: A Match Made in Heaven

Posted on June 11, 2014
By Shamala DN

FIFA – A Golden Opportunity For Marketers

Any world cup or a large sporting event is big for marketers and brands, and FIFA World cup 2014 is undoubtedly the largest marketing platform in the world because of the sheer numbers involved. With a total of 64 matches and 32 teams across 12 stadiums, the entire event is scheduled to take place from 12 June to 13 July 2014 with an estimated 4 billion fans following across television, mobile and social media. With so many eyes and ears paying attention to the games, this World Cup is braced to be a record-breaking marketing event which is bound to offer massive payoffs for advertisers. The FIFA World cup has a global fan following who is not only glued to their television sets, but also active on social media to follow the journey and express their views even months after the games have concluded.

For marketers, this tournament provides an incredible opportunity to reach their consumers at a large scale across multiple screens. Although only the official sponsors are allowed to mention the World Cup in their marketing, opportunities always exist for the non-official sponsors as well to create campaigns around the FIFA ecosystem. Hence it is important for the marketers to have a solid grip on the current trends in sports marketing and incorporate them in their campaigns.

The volume of user and publisher activity around the World Cup every four years shows how much global reach mobile platforms have achieved. With the ever-growing number of mobile devices, this year’s World Cup will be a measure of the world’s movement to smaller devices such as smartphones and tablets. It is clear that mobile phones will be front and center for consumers at this year's World Cup. As consumers move seamlessly between screens there are huge opportunities for marketers to target consumers with an effective and more efficient frequency across platforms.

World Cup 2014: Viewership and Buzz

Football is a sport of global interest amongst all demographic groups. This translates into a clear opportunity for brands and advertisers, with 72% of consumers planning to follow the 2014 World Cup closely according to a study from IAB “2014 World Cup: A Global Mobile Perspective”.

Of the countries surveyed, Football fandom is strongest in Italy, where 70% of respondents state they are dedicated soccer fans, followed by Ireland (60%) and Colombia (58%) - See more at: http://www.inmobi.com/blog/2014/06/11/fifa-world-cup-and-mobile-marketing-a-match-made-in-heaven/#sthash.JkbREpsh.dpuf

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Smartphones to Play Major Role in 2014 World Cup

According to “2014 World Cup: A Global Mobile Perspective,“ an international study generated by the IAB,

  • 48% of soccer fans (from 11 markets) who have a smartphone plan to use them to follow the World Cup action. That’s second only to TV (63%) when it comes to media channel preference for watching the matches
  • Most consumers plan to follow the World Cup at home – either at their own home (69%) or at someone else’s (34%) – this means not only do you have an engaged audience, but a captive one, too
  • Smartphones will act as the gateway to World Cup information and content – 58% will use their device to access information, while 46% will access content while following the tournament
  • In terms of direct monetization of the event, 68% were willing to pay for World Cup video content, with sentiment the strongest in the UK (80%), Mexico (78%) and Colombia (74%)
  • As for the type of mobile advertising they’re most responsive to, 33% say they want to watch ads that are entertaining and creative. Only 17% say the relevancy of the advertising is important, while 16% want ads that feature their country’s team. Moments from previous World Cup matches (14%), star athletes (11%) and ads from World Cup sponsors (10%) aren’t as popular

The study clearly highlights that sporting fans around the world are already open to mobile marketing and are keen to leverage their phones as part of their experience of the game.

Source: 2014 World Cup: A Global Mobile Perspective, IAB

Marketers Game plan To Win Big at the World Cup:

Sports fans are increasingly accessing their mobile devices to heighten their sporting event experience. Throughout the game, fans are tuning in for real-time updates, social media, and commentary. The combination of real-time results, large audiences, and mobile technologies make this an exciting yet daunting opportunity for brands around the world.

This translates to real-world advantages for marketers and advertisers. Here are a few ways to take advantage of mobile advertising during the World Cup this year.

  • Adopt a cross-device strategy to increase the time consumers spend with a brand. Mobile not only intersects online and offline activity, but also provides an interactive platform that allows immediate ways for brands to engage their consumers.
  • Use mobile in-app ads or native ads to promote your product before the matches.
  • Focus on second screen strategies around engagement through curated creative, connected content and quick decisions.
  • Incentivize consumers to motivate purchases using hyper-local targeting and providing discounts and coupons to mobile users while in-store.
  • Adopt location-based elements in the campaign, which is a key component and differentiator for the mobile channel. Measurement is quite effective for this strategy, as each coupon has a unique ID tied to the source of the ad campaign that ensures proper attribution is given when redeemed.

Conclusion – The Verdict

The excitement around any big sporting event like the World Cup will drive customers to experiment with brands. Sports fans generally plan their game day activities ahead of time; hence, it is important for advertisers to start the campaigns a week or two in advance and not just during an event. The 2014 football World Cup promises to be the most watched event and is going to be a very competitive time for brands to capture the attention of the large number of viewers. The stakes are high with ad spend increasing as much as twenty times than the last World Cup in South Africa in 2010. Brands and marketers have a chance to truly expand their mobile digital footprint this summer and will succeed only if they remain authentic, tell a compelling story, and deliver contextual content in real-time. Brands should consider whether or not they want to be among the first to adopt the technological innovations in mobile marketing and test out these new opportunities.

So, keep your eyes and ears open because it’s time to roar “Juntos num só ritmo”.

Get excited, and embrace the big game.

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