On Bauer Business Focus – A conversation on why global advertisers are pumped about the World Cup with Ed Mayberry, business reporter for KUHF 88.7 FM.
Soccer may not be the most watched sport in the United States, but every four years, for 30 days and 42 matches, audience reach for the World Cup is expected to be over 1 billion, which translates into a major opportunity for advertisers, according to UH Bauer marketing professor Jacqueline Kacen.
Kacen recently spoke to KUHF business reporter Ed Mayberry for Bauer Business Focus about the 2010 World Cup and how advertisers are approaching campaigns centered on the sporting event.
“In the United States, we are definitely a football culture,” Kacen said. “But, in terms of sponsorships and partnerships, you’ll see global brands — Coca-Cola, McDonalds, Adidas, Nike — they all want to be part of the World Cup.”
The strategies these companies are using may be different in the United States than in other parts of the world where soccer is more popular. “You’ve got companies like Coca-Cola who use a global approach, with the same idea in every country,” Kacen said, using the soft drink giant’s “Open Happiness” campaign as an example.
“There’s also a market-by-market approach,” she added. “Companies like Sony and McDonalds are going to adapt commercials to particular regions viewing the commercial,” by emphasizing players from specific areas or featuring jerseys from that region’s team.
This year’s World Cup is also the first where social media has played a part in advertising, Kacen said. Even though Adidas is the official sponsor of the 2010 World Cup, Nike has used an “ambush” campaign, taking to YouTube with a viral video that to date has had more views than then number of people watching the matches in the United States.
This kind of “buzz” is driving more viewers in the U.S. to the Cup and has been helped by the success of the American team, which won the group stage and advanced further than it did in the previous World Cup, Kacen said.
“The more it gets talked about, as the competition gets fewer, it means a larger audience. And for advertisers, that’s a good thing,” she said.
Click here to hear the full Bauer Business Focus interview.