The 2018 Fifa World Cup has officially come to a close as France was crowned the champion in a very exciting championship game. Throughout the tournament many new records were set. The knockout round saw the most goals ever scored in history, Iceland became smallest country by population to participate in the tournament, and Cristiano Ronaldo became the oldest player to score a hattrick in the World Cup. These among many other statistics and records made for an extremely exciting month of soccer. The excitement didn’t stop at the games. Advertisers, media buyers and television networks saw fast shifts in viewing habits and purchasing power. This final post about the 2018 Fifa World Cup will cover all things Behavior, Retail & Purchasing Power, and Location & OOH Targeting.
In Post 3 of the Fifa World Cup Infographic series, it was very clear that there is a captive audience very enthralled with the tournament, giving advertisers a great opportunity to engage and promote their offerings. Now that the games are done, we are able to see where fans were engaging in order to ensure that in future sporting and media events like this, that digital and programmatic advertising money is being spent and optimized to drive results.
In the infographic, it was projected that 48% of soccer fans planned to use their smartphone to follow the action. As reported by digiday, Telemundo saw that between 48 and 51 percent of its live digital viewers consistently watched the games on their smartphones. However, the most popular format for watching the games was still traditional television – although many chose to stream either on desktop or laptop. When comparing this tournament to other worldwide sports competitions such as the Summer Olympics, broadcast by Telemundo’s parent company NBCUniversal, people watched the events on their phones during the week and switched to television on the weekend. The World Cup saw stable numbers, despite the day of the week, mobile watchers stuck to mobile and TV viewers stuck to that platform.
Regarding the type of advertisements and its content, despite fans saying that they were more concerned about the advertisements being entertaining and interesting than relevant to the World Cup, most advertisers still chose to use the tournament as the platform for their ads. Companies like Pepsi, Coca Cola, Budweiser and Adidas all aired ads that starred fan favorite players and action from soccer games. These ads were successful as many sites, such as Highsnobiety dubbed them the best of the tournament. Contextually relevant content is always a safe bet for digital advertisers when choosing ad content and placement. Whether viewers realize it or not, when the excitement from the games carries over in the commercial breaks, they are much more likely to stay engaged.
Retail & Purchasing Behavior
The Fifa World Cup ranks the fourth most valuable sporting event brand in the world, falling short of the Superbowl, Summer Olympics and Winter Olympics. Even at fourth place, a 2017 Forbes survey revealed that the tournament is worth $229 million. This high price tag doesn’t solely fall on the games. Many companies find that this event has a high impact on their brand and they have significant pressure to make sure they get the most out of this captive futbol-fanatic audience. Adidas, arguably the most famous soccer brand in the world, projected to sell 10 million official tournament balls, 14.9 million replica jerseys. The top five selling jerseys are for Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Spain and France and people are most inclined to search for Ronaldo, Messi, Neymar Jr and Coutinho.
But, as was published in our infographic, advertisers need to be weary of changing emotions based on the outcomes of the games. After a loss, with lower morale, fans may be less inclined to make purchases unless prompted by a promotion or sale.
Monetary value didn’t stop at merchandise and fan apparel, this years ticket sales were tremendous. In May, it was already reported that 2.374 million tickets to the 64 matched had already been sold, accounting for 89% of all available tickets. The Moscow Times reported that there was a 98% attendance rate in the first 61 games of the tournament. Those attending paid high prices in order to see the action first hand. Newsweek reported that scalpers were selling tickets to fans for as much as $2,300 for one match!
Location & OOH Targeting
The World Cup offered great opportunities for advertisers to run location and Out of Home Targeting (OHH). Location targeting uses programmatic advertising to deliver ads to users who have attended an event or set of events at specific locations, dates and times. In regard to the world cup, this offered advertisers a great opportunity to run ads in areas that they knew fans would congregate and around and during the times of games. This allows great opportunities, as discussed in the behavior section, for fans to continue to see content surrounding the excitement of the World Cup. After a big win, if a fan sees an ad on the metro with their favorite player promoting a certain product, the advertiser has targeted and reached that fan in an ideal setting.
With each world-wide sporting event, advertisers and media buyers learn new strategies and tips on how to best reach their audience. This World Cup saw a very captive, engaged audience both at the games and watching – whether online or on television. Fans also took to social media to interact with their favorite players and teams. They were also quick to purchase apparel and gear and fans lucky enough to be close to where the games were played, were willing to purchase high-priced tickets in order to see the action live.
The Fifa World Cup only comes around every four years, making it essential that advertisers are prepared to showcase the best content in the ideal setting. For 2018, we have broken down the audience, social, content, behavior, retail and location targeting for the tournament. Comparing this 2018 information to the 2014 tournament, noting any similarities and changes, advertisers and media buyers can note any trends and study up for the next few years to ensure that 2022 World Cup sees the best use of media and advertising.
Download the full infographic here and don’t forget to share #DigilantData.
Did you read all four parts or our FIFA World Cup 2018 Infographic series? Start with Part 1 learning about the facts and figures of the World Cup here.