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The FIFA World Cup, Marketing Tsunami

The following is a Guest Blog from Quinlan’s Charles H. Kellstadt Chair of Marketing, Professor Clifford J. Shultz. Adding to the timeliness of the opening of the games is today’s announcement that North America (Canada, the U.S. and Mexico) will host the 2026 Games.

The FIFA World Cup is arguably the biggest spectacle on the planet: a quadrennial, month-long, soccer/football tournament followed passionately by billions of fanatics. The first match kicks-off in Moscow, June 14th. Soccer zealots will abandon jobs, jam pubs and fan-zones, and glue themselves to televisions, computers, and smart phones to watch matches, commentaries, replays, highlights, GIFs, memes and of course the slick and pervasive marketing communications that accompany the world’s most popular sporting event. They will celebrate, discuss and debate brilliant games, players and goals; they will lament missed chances, dubious officiating and cynical fouls; for 30 days, fans will ride the highs and lows of wins and losses, until one team stands victorious, with the trophy held high.

This Extravaganza is a marketing tsunami, which has been building momentum since the conclusion of the 2014 World Cup played in Brazil. Prepare to be deluged by new products, ads, sales pitches, promotions, brands, sponsorships, endorsements, tweets, instagrams, blogs, texts, press releases, pinterests, video posts, and Facebook entries; indeed, the torrent has now begun. FIFA and its partners have spent hundreds-of-millions of dollars on IMC to reach and to influence a vast, global market. They, along with sponsors, guerilla marketers, restaurateurs, pub owners, politicians, NGOs, entire nations and even the Pope hitch, or try to hitch, themselves to this star.

“Live It Up”, the official video,

, already has been viewed more than 15 million times. The video for the 2010 World Cup incidentally has some 1.8 billion views,

, which speaks to the longevity of YouTube, South Africa, Soccer and/or Shakira. In both videos, notice the various stars, brands and sponsors; the high involvement of players and fans; the marketing opportunities seized and possibly missed, overlooked or waiting to be seized.

Marketing tsunami across planet soccer — ride the World Cup wave and let the games begin.

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