4 Marketing Lessons From The 2014 World Cup


Whether you’re the world’s greatest soccer fan, or someone who doesn’t really care about the game at all, I’m sure you’ll have noticed that it’s currently World Cup season.

“For 32 days, the whole world dreams the same dream”, as the Twitter ad goes.

Some of you might think I’ve lost it a little.

How can football (soccer, for the American readers) possibly be related to marketing? What lessons can marketers take away from the World Cup?

No matter what the event is, there’s always something to learn. 

So here are five of the top takeaways marketers can get from the World Cup:

1. Stay relevant.

Marketers always need to be in touch with all the current technology and consumer trends.

This year, FIFA really integrated all kinds of digital media and technology in order to promote the event and increase the worldwide hype.

Compared to the previous World Cups, they’ve really gone all out, even increasing mobile adoption and making it the primary medium of communication – a great idea, especially with today’s “mobile-first” generation.

2. Create and utilize engaging content. 

This year, the content we’ve seen from the World Cup advertisers is nothing short of outstanding. It’s been a steady stream of visual, engaging content that manages to create emotional connections to the event and the individual teams.

“Emotional connections” is really the keyword here. Ideas that spread are emotional. Only companies that can touch a person’s heart will likewise be able to touch that person’s pocketbook.

One great example of the kind of content I’m talking about is the “Game Before The Game” commercial from Beats, which you can watch below:

Find out what channels your customers use to acquire information. Then develop content that appeals to their needs. Find a way to create content that adds value to the World Cup conversation through entertaining content.

3. Get on social media.

The World Cup has sparked a real social media frenzy. Twitter anticipates this event to be “one of the most-Tweeted global events of all time”.


74.2% of World Cup viewers are expected to be on social media while watching the World Cup. And from that number, 42% will be posting/tweeting about their favorite World Cup ads.

And 52% will be more likely to follow a brand after the World Cup as opposed to a team.

With all the passionate, energetic soccer fans online during this event, there’s no better time to get really active on social media. Be engaging. Be passionate. Be relevant, and helpful, and you’ll find yourself getting a ton of new followers before you know it.

Let me put it this way: if you’re not on social media when most of your audience are on it, then you’re missing out on a lot of potential customers and followers.

(If you need help figuring out what type of content to post, read this post on what types of posts are the most popular.)

4. Build/expand your community. 

Sports enthusiasts are some of the most passionate people in the world. They’ll eagerly come back any time there’s a new event that they’re passionate about, even with several years’ break in between.

That’s the kind of devout community that you’ll want to build for your company or brand through social media.

Good marketers know the value of building a long-term social following, whether offline or online.

And while you’re at it, take the opportunity to expand your own network while everyone’s online. Find others in the same, or related industries, and leverage them into your social circles. This helps you create new opportunities for growing and learning.

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