Media Buying and Inbound Marketing Blog

Advertising Strategy of The World Cup

By Braeden Mincher on June 16, 2014 |


By: Braeden Mincher, Social Media Manager

The World Cup is finally here! If you are a soccer fan or not, you have to admit it is exciting! When a big event (especially world event) is broadcasted on television, we know it is going to be a battle of the advertisers. The previous World Cup in 2010 was the largest period of sustained activity Twitter has ever had. Since then, social media has only become more popular. With that, the 2014 World Cup is projected to be the most talked about World Cup and television event the social media world has ever, World Cup, Advertising strategy

Twitter has been buzzing about this World Cup before games have even begun. In fact, the buzz generated on Twitter pre-World Cup has come out to be more than the buzz that covered the entire 2010 World Cup! In 2010, only 20% of the advertising was spent on digital; however this World Cup is set to exponentially out-grow that number. There is no longer a big need for a huge television ad because even on television ads, companies encourage people to talk about their brand via social media using a hashtag, liking and following their account.

Sponsors of the World Cup have also utilized the fame and influence of soccer stars that have gained a huge following on Twitter. For instance, Cristiano Ronaldo who has over 26.5 million followers on Twitter, was prompted to tweet Nike’s second World Cup ad which was released on it’s YouTube page; the number of views that the ad got sky-rocketed to over 70 million in just a few days. In reaction to the huge response, Nike ran a shortened version of the ad on television.

As if social media and television wasn’t enough, combining the two has created the ultimate advertising gift. According to Neilson research, 60% of UK users tweet while watching television. Television ads prompt viewers to use a certain hashtag about their brand or their brand experience which in most cases causes it to “trend” on Twitter or Facebook that allows people to see what topics are being the most talked about worldwide or in certain geographic areas. Neilson also estimates that sponsors of the World Cup will spend nearly 21 million (Euros) on television advertising in the UK alone.

Social media and television are not the only mediums being used to advertise the World Cup; radio has also seen some increase in listening. Radio is popular with TalkSport (the commercial rights holder to the World Cup) with sales estimated to increase by 45% in the months surrounding the World Cup. Other forms of advertising have also been experiencing their best game surrounding the World Cup. The outdoor advertising industries are benefiting more than ever with their posters, bus sides, billboards and other underground ads.

However, one form of advertising has been struggling a bit when it comes to this rare and popular world-wide event. Ad sales for newspapers have been down 5.4% recently which a lot has to do with the timing of kick-off. When games begin in the evening, it is difficult to run the paper next to up-to-date copies. The press has been working overtime to try to pitch ad sales to advertisers but it seems that it’s just irrelevant for this specific television event based on the timing of the games.

The World Cup has only just begun in it’s month-long journey to the championship game. We’ll get to see if the advertising predictions become true and social media records get set. There is much more to learn about during this World Cup in terms of social media and setting the bar high this year.

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advertising strategy social media TV advertising radio advertising Outdoor advertising