• Jason

Who will be the winners and losers from the World Cup?

Now that the group stages are over, we get into the business end of the World Cup, knock- out stages, one mistake and you could be on the plane home.

However which businesses seem to be benefiting from this World Cup and which ones can only hope that England are knocked out soon???



With the massive increase in online and mobile app betting this World Cup looks like a huge success for bookmakers, you seem to be able to bet on anything today, red cards, corners, first scorer etc. Based on the volume of sports betting ads we have all seen, the race is on between the bigger boys Ladbrokes, Paddy Power, 365, Betfair, Coral and Skybet to see who gets the “Three Lion’s” share of the pot.

What I personally struggle with in regards to bookmakers, is a lack of brand values in the sector, except for Paddy Power. Taking into account the amount of money bookmakers spend on advertising the brands do not differentiate. Having personally run focus groups in this sector recently this comes through via the customers as well. All the brands have strong ad awareness, however consumers will switch dependant on new offers and promotions and loyalty is quite low.

Takeaway companies

While watching a match, food is always a key component and stopping to cook yourself something mid match is an unwelcome distraction, this is where the takeaway companies are benefit this World Cup, from clever advertising by Dominos ads timed to run just before the start of a match stating “Order now for delivery at Half time” to Just Eat’s Sponsorship campaign on Talk Sport “Put it on a plate” the takeaway companies have really been quite innovative with their activity this World Cup.

Pubs and Pub chains

Watching the World Cup is often seen as a social event and watching it down the pub with your mates is always a great experience, add this amazing weather and pubs and pub chains are definitely benefiting from this World Cup. Greene King stated that they sold half million more pints on Sunday during the Panama game than expected. They also stated that they had only budgeted for three England games so, every knockout game is a bonus.

Greene King have also been quite innovative, download their app and you get a free pint and also a 10% off all drinks, one hour before, during and one hour after World Cup games, this shows some creative thinking in the sector which seems to be reaping rewards.

TV retailers

Carphone Warehouse will be hoping that we will all be upgrading our TV’s for the World cup, this will give them a much needed sales uplift and hopefully some good news after news that they will have to close 92 stores and their data breach earlier in the year.

However a key challenge in execution will be getting the right mix of TV’s for the potential sales increase and getting the volumes right, so as not to need a fire sale at the end of the World Cup.

4K UHTV and OLED TV’s are the current buzz in the TV market, however screen sizes keep getting bigger and bigger, 20 years ago the default screen size was 32 inch, then 40 inch and now the default size seems to be 55inch?

My only surprise at this time of bumper TV sales has been the lack of Brand TV ads from the big TV producers SONY, Panasonic, LG and Samsung? Shouldn’t these brands be promoting prior to the World Cup so that consumers are activity specifying brands or exact products when they shop for TV’s?

Sports retailers

Replica shirt sales will have a big uplift during the World Cup, so the likes of SportsDirect will be hoping for a sales boost, however many shirts are bought online via companies such as Kitbag, DW Sports, therefore stock levels and personalised printing will be important to drive customers instore rather than online.

TV Companies

ITV will see huge uplifts in viewers during the World Cup, with their sales teams able to sell top price ads during the ad breaks to companies looking to promote to the 18 -34 and ABC 1 male audience, according to ITV this tends to be male grooming products, alcohol, betting companies and financial services.

However, the battle of the TV companies currently is being won by the BBC with 6 out of the top 10 watched matches have been on the BBC.

The biggest TV audience of the year so far watched the England v Tunisia game 21.3m watched in total, 18.3m watched the traditional way which just beat the Royal Wedding 18m viewers, a further 3 million watched via iplayer and BBC sport website, also the highest ever live viewing online, however as England progress, expect these figures to be beaten. (The highest ever figure for a World Cup match is 23.8m England v Argentina 1998).

One bit of worrying news for the England camp, since 1998 England have won 10 World Cup games, 9 of which have been shown on the BBC and only one on ITV, hopefully this terrible record will be rectified when England take on Columbia on ITV on Tuesday night!!!!

Football Personalities

Yes, a bit left field, however I thought I would include it, let’s take Chris Kamara (Kammy), by his own admission, run of the mill footballer, however seems to be enjoying a stunning World Cup: -

  • Greene King – Brewed his own beer Unbeerlievable, which you can get one for free when you download the Greene King App.

  • Sky – Regular pundit and analyst

  • Papa John Pizza – Face of Papa John Pizza World Cup TV and radio ads

  • Ladbrokes – Face of Ladbrokes TV ads

  • Gillette – Face of Gillette World Cup TV ads.

Getting paid by five different companies at the same time is the sort of nimble footwork that even Ronaldo would be proud of!!

I am pleased for Chris Kamara, however the Gillette and Papa John Pizza tie-ups just feel a bit lazy to me, using a TV personality and think the job is done will not cut through with consumers today.

Potential Losers

Cinema chains

A night out at the cinema tends to take a back seat during World Cups, however add on the current hot weather and the cinema chains will be seriously struggling for footfall.

Restaurant Chains

As per cinema’s, eating out is put to the back seat while the World Cup enthrals the nation. Luckily as stated above, most pubs will benefit from the beer sales to help offset the downturn in food sales, however standalone food chains will be hoping for an early England exit.

I think restaurant chains have missed a trick here, could they not be promoting pre-game or after game offers, so that customers can eat prior or after a game? As we have seen many people will be wanting to go to the pub to watch the game, this seems like a missed opportunity?

Home Improvements and Home retailers

DIY projects will be pushed to after the World Cup so B & Q, Homebase etc will be quietly cheering on England’s opponents, also Home retailers such as DFS, Harveys etc tend to have a downturn during the World Cup, however home retail is quite often affected more heavily by hot weather, so I’m sure these companies will be hoping for a spot of rain in the near future.

However as TV retailers will benefit from sales of TV’s for the World Cup why can’t home retail brands promote new sofas to sit on during the World Cup??

TV Companies

Where there are winners there are also losers on TV, the losers this World Cup will be Channel 4 and Sky Sports, however these channels have taken different approaches to the World Cup with Channel 4 offering are more female led offering to combat the World Cup and Sky offering companion approach giving customers all the gossip and fans point of view of the World Cup, including travel, information on the cities etc and the build up to each game.

What we see here is some great examples of brands promoting during the World cup without having to spend the vast sums on being a main sponsor which starts and an eye watering £100m.

There have been numerous examples in the past of brand hijacking events or supporting events in the surrounding vicinity without being a main sponsor title sponsor.

If you are clever with your activity you can reap the benefits at a fraction of the cost.

So, if you are winners or losers, you can’t really ignore the World Cup, however to maximise your opportunity or minimise your losses, you must plan and execute well, customers are habitual, however they will always gravitate to things that interest and excite them and whilst the World Cup is on this is no exception.

What are your brand experiences / campaign ideas that you have enjoyed over the years from previous World Cups?

#brandengagement #Eventmarketing #Football

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