World Cup: Marketer’s Game

Posted by: Lara Berman
  • June 30, 2014
  • 6

> on June 12, 2014 in New York City.

World Cup fever strikes the nations,
Garnering international participation.
Sports bars brim and spill out fans,
Chatter dominated by plays and game plans.

And though we researchers would never stream games at work,
(who’d imagine we’d obsess over anything but “Quirks”)
Our analytic sensibility couldn’t help but notice
These fútbol games through a marketing focus.

Viewers fixate and pine for the golden prize
While advertisers exploit their riveted eyes

Visa and Coke gain, sponsoring FIFA’s identity
Ambush marketers do too, despite risk of penalty

The Cup’s social storm makes other sports look weak
As engagement soars, so too the game’s mystique

Thus brands enter the game, hoping to score a goal
And choose ads with emotion to resonate in the soul

Exciting times as brands reach global fame
Artfully inspiring with each ad frame.
We ’re proud of researchers’ role in this Cup
Helping clients score by moving sales up.

So whether you root for Dempsey or Messi,
Or associate more strongly with shoe brands or Pepsi
Wear your marketing jersey and give us an assist,
Share with us YOUR thoughts; we’d love a long list.

What did you love and what did you hate?
What made you wake early, or stay up late?

Did you cheer for your home country or the one you’re in now?
Which players made you jump and scream “Oh, wow!”?

Which ad kept you talking once the last whistle blew?
These questions aren’t rhetorical, we want to hear from you!

World Cup LRW Viewing Party_BlogSize

Categories: Brand, Marketing
  • Jen Valenzuela
    July 1, 2014
    As a researcher and marketer, I've enjoyed watching the games through that lens. I've seen more dramatic fan reactions (with Coca-Cola cup in hand) than I can count. As a sports fan - and the wife of an even bigger sports fan - I've been drawn in to games where I did not have a stake in either team but enjoyed watching for the sport of it. But perhaps the best aspect of this World Cup is watching it through the eyes of my 3 year old son. His new favorite outside activity (for the moment) is kicking his soccer ball between the poles of his playset and yelling "GOOOOOAAAAALLLLLLL" while running around the backyard with his arms spread wide. I love that these games can provide that kind of family fun for all of us.
  • Jeffrey Stone
    July 1, 2014
    The media has certainly done a good job of marketing the USMNT for this World Cup. It's not just about the best athletes competing for the most coveted prize in the (soccer) sporting world though. US fans have attached to a USMNT narrative about making the impossible happen, which the team and media have advanced. Between drawing into the Group of Death, dropping one of our "best" players in May, the USA's own coach saying the team couldn't win it, and last minute goals (for and against us), the USMNT keeps fighting improbable adversity and somehow advancing! As consumer insights consultants, we know that the best research is useless unless we can tell a story about it that engages our audience. Clearly, regardless of how good or bad our team actually is, we’re all caught up in this story about a scrappy American team who refuses to say “no.”
  • Joan
    June 30, 2014
    FIFA fever is global! The gains in US are likely from a powerful marketing machine, younger generations having grown up on the soccer field, contributions from Beckham, and great FIFA video games.
  • Bikila Ochoa
    June 30, 2014
    Hillary, while I agree that marketing is helping to drive the popularity of this years WC, as as fan of the sport, I'd like to think that something a bit more organic is going on as well. Consumption of soccer / futbol in the U.S. has increased steadily over the last few years. The MLS continues to see increases in attendance (they will have a new expansion team in Orlando next season). European soccer is increasingly accessible (i.e. viewers no longer have to view top clubs on sketchy websites pirating European feeds). Such is the increasing popularity of the sport that Comcast / NBC decided to take a $250 million gamble to acquire the exclusive TV rights to the English Premier League in the U.S. Moreover, stars of the holy trinity of U.S. sports have publicly taken an interest in the sport (e.g. see Kobe Bryant's WC tweets and LeBron James has an ownership interest in Liverpool FC). With regards to ads, I don't quite buy that Pele eats, or has ever eaten, at Subway. That ad just makes me uncomfortable!
  • Hilary Decamp
    June 30, 2014
    I can't help but speculate that World Cup fever in the U.S. this year is as much a marketing phenomenon as anything. When the media tells the market loudly enough that something is an EVENT, it tends to become one. Like dogs chasing cars, people can't help but jump on a bandwagon, especially when it's a "limited time offer". The list of consumer behavior factors driving this are somewhat endless...
  • Jonathan Weiss
    June 30, 2014
    As someone who loves watching the world's best athletes, I've been so impressed by this year's World Cup. These guys are battling the crazy heat, running at full speed for 90+ minutes with an amazing set of skills. I knew I'd be watching the USA play, but had no idea that I'd be as mesmerized by the entire event, no matter who is playing!

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