Football World Cup Fever and Digital Marketing Opportunity

Published On: June 28, 2018Categories: Marketing, Social MediaTags: ,

Significant events in the country or even the world can mean opportunities for digital marketing, brands and businesses. Unless you have been living on a remote island with no access to the world – it’s likely you know we are currently in the middle of the FIFA World Cup. Some may know the ins and outs of the entire competition down to player statistics and game schedules, others may just be aware that it’s happening. Whichever viewpoint your target audience has can provide a valuable opportunity for your digital marketing strategy.

The biggest audience imaginable


In 2014, 3.2 billion people watched the World Cup. Since then, smartphones, data streaming, connectivity and apps have all advanced significantly increasing the possibilities for marketers around the world. The official FIFA Instagram page went from 40,000 followers to 1 million during the 2014 World Cup (source: and there were 32.1 million tweets about the Germany vs. Argentina final.


Real life experience


The big advertisers use “real-time” ads to create an experience for the viewers:


  • A furniture company may show people enjoying the games on a large sofa.
  • Alcoholic beverage suppliers will suggest enjoying a cold bottle of their product whilst watching the football with your friends.
  • Takeaway companies will conveniently show ads prompting people to order food in time for kick off or to be delivered at half time.


The list goes on. The market leading brands are using the power of social media or television ads to give the audience a glimpse at what they could have if they order/use/own their product or service.


Creating an opportunity


FIFA have strict advertising rules so that their official sponsors (paying millions to be associated with the World Cup) have exclusivity, therefore if you are not one of the businesses with very, very deep pockets – it’s time to get creative.

Clever tricks include taking advantage of things that happen during the world cup, utilise hashtags on social media, have an opinion on topics, as we publish this, Germany have just gone out of the running, already there are jokes, internet memes and plenty of businesses jumping on the social media bandwagon to share their opinions on such a shock departure! During the 2014 World Cup international superstar Luis Suarez famously “bit” one of his opponents, cue posts about feeding football players, overcoming hunger pangs and advertising from food outlets.


Know your audience


We constantly talk about knowing your audience, Mastercard launched a campaign saying; for every goal scored by football royalty, Neymar and Messi, they would donate 10,000 meals to the world food programme. Some say it’s genius using the World Cup to bring awareness to world hunger, others have trashed the marketing campaign accusing it of gamifying starvation. Mastercard had to take the risk that their marketing would be applauded by the majority.


Don’t let budget hold you back


If you don’t have the budget to recruit celebrities or boost your business like the big brands, you need to be clever. Use your social media to reach your audience with relevant content, promotions and discounts.

It doesn’t have to be World Cup related but the opportunities are there, the recent Royal Wedding was another example where businesses could use a significant event within their marketing efforts. The Olympics, the birth of a future King, even a political election.


Targeted advertising, sponsored videos and social media savvy make it easier for smaller businesses to find a place in a swarm of major brands.

For help with your digital marketing strategy, social media marketing or any aspect of digital marketing – get in touch today.