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All Eyes on the World Cup 2022

This year, the World Cup will be held in Qatar, the first time the tournament will be held in an Arab nation, and the first time it will be held later in the year to escape Qatar’s legendary summer heat. Not only is the timing perfect for Qatar’s weather, it’s also an excellent opportunity to market your business to World Cup fans and holiday shoppers alike.

But how powerful is the World Cup’s reach? FIFA President Gianni Infantino has predicted that an astounding five-billion people will be watching this year’s World Cup, which will be the highest viewership in World Cup history!

This creates a marketing opportunity unlike any other for marketers in Q4. In fact, Adweek has predicted sporting events such as the World Cup will increase global advertising revenue by 9.2 percent, thanks to both holiday shopping and a growing interest in soccer in the United States.

With the World Cup happening in about a month’s time on November 20, both national and global brands have been directing part of their Q4 marketing budgets towards this global event, in fact Adweek predicts that international sporting events such as the World Cup will contribute to a 9.2% projected increase in global ad revenue this year, especially as the holiday shopping season rolls in and as soccer grows in popularity within the US. 

A robust marketing plan to capitalize on World Cup enthusiasm will help your business increase both sales and engagement during the tournament season. To learn more about how to score big points with your marketing campaign this World Cup season, keep reading below!

Connecting With Soccer Fans To Win At Marketing

With an estimated 50 percent of football fans expected to view the World Cup games from the comfort of home, consumers will likely be online researching everything from player interviews to lineups and final scores. This creates a perfect opportunity to engage with your fans on news and entertainment websites.

Another helpful tip for marketers to keep in mind during the World Cup is that many viewers will be multitasking during the games, playing games, ordering food, betting on matches, and even simply checking their inbox. This generates the perfect opportunity for app-based and email marketing, whether it be online shopping, gaming, or food delivery.

Viewership around the world will boast some impressive viewership numbers, with more than half the population of certain countries tuning in. According to Outbrain, the following regions will boast record-high viewership:

  • Europe – 55%
  • Asia – 52%
  • Latin America – 72%
  • Middle East / Africa – 72% 

Thankfully, soccer fans are also big shoppers. This creates a perfect opportunity for businesses to capitalize on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday sale opportunities. In fact, according to Outbrain, nearly 70 percent of World Cup viewers plan to order takeout during the games, while 40 percent of viewers will be getting their holiday shopping done earlier this year. 

That being said, because World Cup viewers are slated to spend approximately 2.5 times more on independent websites than on social media, advertisers should also consider native advertising in addition to social media marketing for the World Cup season. In 2018 alone advertisers spent approximately $2.4 billion dollars in worldwide advertising.

Make sure you know which words and images NOT to use in your marketing.

If you’re going to be marketing using the World Cup as your theme, make sure you avoid using the following in your advertising:

  • FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™
  • FIFA World Cup™
  • FIFA
  • World Cup
  • World Cup 2022
  • Qatar 2022™
  • 2022
  • Any official emblems, mascots photos or names, team slogans or posters, trophy photos, official FIFA logos
  • The official source of the World Cup Games

With so many restrictions, it can be confusing to know what’s okay to use in your World Cup themed marketing campaign, but as a general rule, it’s okay to stick to:

  • The colors of your nation’s team
  • Soccer themed advertising, such as soccer balls, goals, or stock or animated images of soccer players (do not use real FIFA players).
  • Use World Cup related hashtags on social media, such as #WorldCup, #WorldCup2022 or other relevant hashtags.

Simple Ways To Market Using World Cup Inspo

While there is much to be said for big-budget advertising campaigns, running smaller, just as exciting marketing campaigns can also benefit your business.  Initiatives such as running a competition (complete with prizes), creating limited edition soccer-themed products, offering discounts or freebies based on wins or final scores, sharing UGC, or even create a game app to let players play along and celebrate World Cup and soccer mania are just a few out-of-the-box examples of how you can run a smaller budget World Cup marketing campaign.

No matter how you integrate the World Cup into your marketing plan, it’s sure to generate excitement among your customers and would-be customers during this unprecedented World Cup tournament. To learn more about how you can incorporate the World Cup or any other event into your marketing plans, reach out to the experts at Elmntl for all of your marketing needs.

ELMNTL does not support Qatar’s views on human rights and LGBTQ+ issues. The team wanted to share our point of view on the World Cup’s hype and how marketers can leverage “monumental moments” like the World Cup to help share news announcements.


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Wiley Koehler

Wiley Koehler

Data Analyst & Ads Specialist

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