The 22nd run of the World Cup is set to begin on November 21st 2022, hosted in Qatar. For the first time ever, the World Cup is being held in the winter months, due to Qatar’s incredibly hot summers.
Because of this, the 2022 tournament is the first to coincide with Q4, home to the major shopping periods of Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the run-up to Christmas. It’s unlikely that this timing will ever occur again, so marketers should make the most of the opportunities presented wherever it fits with their brand, leveraging the World Cup to target football fans making purchases throughout this busy time.
Everybody loves football
Now, this isn’t strictly true, not everybody loves football. However, FIFA’s World Cup has proven time and time again that people across the globe come together to watch their country compete for the title. In 2018, the World Cup garnered over 3.5bn viewers, almost half of the entire global population.
So far in 2022, the excitement for the upcoming tournament is larger than in previous years. According to Google, searches on YouTube for this year’s tournament surpasses 2018 by 80%. This is no surprise after the major events of the past few years that have had drastic impacts on lives across the globe, leaving people eagerly anticipating the familiarity and togetherness of the World Cup.
Alongside the hefty reach brought by the World Cup, the tournament has a proven track record of accelerating consumer spending. With this in mind and the fact that the matches coincide with some of the busiest shopping periods of the year, you’d be a fool not to utilise the games for promotional benefit if the football theme can work with your brand.
World Cup marketing ideas
There are plenty of marketing tactics you can use within your physical business, such as retail shop fronts, restaurants or bars, as well as some effective methods for online-based brands. Here are just a few examples of how you can leverage the World Cup to your marketing advantage:
- Create limited-edition football-themed products, or limited-edition packaging
- Adopt a football decor theme at any physical appearance: in your storefront or hospitality location and at trade shows or events. This also translates to online brands: give your website a temporary makeover to get in the football-festive spirit!
- Run competitions related to the World Cup where consumers can win relevant prizes
- Offer limited-time discounts relevant to the recent matches, for example: if England wins a match after scoring 2 goals, give customers a 20% discount until the day of England’s next match
- For restaurants and bars, consider showing the matches at your venue. In the UK, the World Cup is broadcast free-to-air, so as long as you have a TV licence then you are able to show the matches to your patrons
- Again for restaurants, bars and even cafes and diners, consider making limited-edition menus where customers can order a traditional meal from the countries that are playing that day, as well as creating a special cocktail menu with drinks named relative to the countries playing
Leveraging social media
Social media is one of the easiest ways for people to share their thoughts and opinions in real time with people from all areas of the world. During the lead-up to the tournament and also throughout the matches, football fans everywhere will be turning to social media giants to connect with others. Every social channel can bring a unique approach to engaging with football fans throughout this period.
The lead-up to the World Cup is heavily focused on building tension, anticipation and excitement. Brands can mimic this suspense within their own content. Instagram and TikTok are increasing in popularity due to their short videos which are proven to attract consumers and boost engagement. Both channels would be great contenders to utilise throughout the lead-up to the World Cup, producing short and snappy videos to help your consumer base get excited about the upcoming event.
Twitter is the ideal social media to utilise once the matches begin in late November. Millions of viewers across the world will be sharing their thoughts on Twitter in real-time whilst the games play out in front of them. Ensure that your brand joins in this conversation, engaging with users and sharing relevant and useful insights relating to the matches.
Finally, Facebook can be useful for brands wanting to leverage the World Cup by creating competitions for their consumers. Football-focused competitions and polls running alongside relevant matches can be a great way to engage with your consumers whilst providing them something of value.
It’s important to note that brands must be careful when involving the World Cup in their marketing efforts. FIFA have regulations that you must adhere to if you are not an official partner or sponsor of the event. If your brand is hoping to utilise the World Cup for marketing purposes, familiarise yourself with the regulations here.