5 Ways Brands Can Win at the FIFA World Cup

64 matches played between 32 teams in 4 weeks will soon engross more than five billion spectators.

  • UPDATED: 25 July 2023
  • 8 min read

Reading Time: 8 minutes

In less than a month, football fans around the globe will shift their allegiance from clubs to countries. Glued to the TV daily instead of once a week, for some fans, it will be their home country, and for others, their favorite teams.

What is more interesting is that amongst these fans would be marketers who would be planning to create campaigns to indulge with customers in this special FIFA World Cup Edition.

But before we jump on to how brands can create their own space in these humongous stadiums, let’s look at what makes this world cup unique for both customers and marketers.

Historically, November 20th has witnessed many mega events, be it Beethoven’s only opera in Vienna or the end of the Cuban missile crisis; this date has played a prominent role in reshaping the global past.

And this time, in 2022, the date will be earmarked as the kick-off for not just the first-ever world cup played on Arabic soil but also the first-ever winter FIFA World Cup.

Well, that’s not all –  it will also create a serendipitous moment for marketers and brands to club their holiday marketing campaigns with this mega event.

With over 5 billion spectators expected to watch this event, FIFA World Cup 2022 is a perfect platform for marketers to boost their engagement through acquisition and retention.

Here Are a Few Ways Marketers Can Win High Stakes During the Event:

#1: QR Codes Can Become a Major Marketing Weapon

QR Codes have come a long way since 1994 and have quickly become an effective marketing tactic to promote interaction and engagement. Brands can add QR codes in the stadium seats or in sections of the stadium to offer discounts, provide live updates of parallel games, and monitor real-time standings.

QR code promotions in FIFA World Cup

Taking a Page From T20 Cricket World Cup

Marketers engrossed in strategizing campaigns can take inspiration from Thums Up stump cam’ initiative. They can optimally use the QR codes to engage with TV/OTT audiences by providing them with a LIVE match experience.

This way, fans sitting comfortably in their living room can experience a stadium atmosphere and view the game from different camera angles on their high-definition televisions.

QR code FIFA World Cup

#2: Creating a Loyal Community With Fantasy Football

In recent years, Fantasy Football has made a special place in the footballing fraternity. As a matter of fact, in this current football season, there are more than 10 million football managers playing fantasy leagues.

What’s more remarkable is that prominent leagues such as English Premier League have specialized shows discussing strategies around fantasy football.

This is where brands and marketers can edge out the competition. There’s a good chance that the viewers will be hungry to play fantasy football based on the 2022world cup.

A free-to-play Fantasy Football platform will allow brands to create an exciting brand engagement campaign whereby all the stakeholders, i.e., employees, customers, prospects, etc., from around the world can connect, participate and get involved. It would not only be a great customer relationship platform but will also result in increased loyalty and brand activation.

Fantasy Football Brand Awareness
Brand Awareness With Fantasy Football


🎯 A UAE-based social platform Fanera promotes a footballing community by enabling fans to connect, sharing insights, create content and grow through rewards system.

Fanera Fan Engagement

#3: Loyalty Programs Go a Long Way In Retaining Customers

Major sporting events are a perfect platform for brands to drive loyalty campaigns. Be it a daily reward-based campaign on a website or app or a wheel of fortune kind of campaign, marketers can leverage such ideas to boost engagement and drive that brand awareness.

In the 2018 Russia World Cup, Heineken banked on the fact that pubs and local bars would attract many customers and practically become a second home during the tournament. The brand partnered with Daily Mail to create the ultimate voting competition.

The campaign included “visit” and “vote” call-to-action buttons to inspire visitors to discover more information surrounding their favorite bar, including its address, website link, and live soccer schedule.

Fan Engagement in FIFA

Not only did this strengthen Heineken’s association with soccer, it also drove visits to selected bars hosting live footage of the FIFA World Cup, maximizing sales of Heineken within the listed bars.

Another example of the loyalty program is perfectly justified by Betway’s “Quest to Qatar” campaign. Through this campaign, the betting app will allow new and existing Betway customers to get £15 in free bets every week up to the start of the World Cup.

FIFA World Cup Engagement Campaign
#4: Live Streaming Content Creators Become a Top Choice For Brands

Content creators are excellent at subtly promoting brands during live streaming. They also publish sponsored posts on social media to spread awareness and stir conversations about the product/brand.

Why should brands bank on their reach? Well, if we take just one example to set the context – Mark Goldbridge, a die-hard Manchester United Fan, regularly streams many football games (and, of course – the United Games). But what’s fascinating is that he has close to 100K+ views on his streams, with a subscriber base of 788K.

If the views and subscriber base create a compelling case, here are some of the other creators that brands can partner with during the FIFA World Cup:

  • Lisa Freestyle: She is the most followed female freestyler in the world. She’s a world-champion freestyle footballer and a huge advocate for gender equality. She gained international acclaim on the internet in 2017 when performed alongside professional footballers like Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ronaldinho, Paul Pogba, Gianluigi Buffon, and even Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt and rapper Drake. Brands Associations: Puma, Paris Saint-Germain, FashionNova and FIFA
  • Mark GoldBridge That’s Football: His watchalong’s are incredible. It’s like watching a match at an English pub from the comfort of your home. His last EURO Final Stream garnered more than 200K views with sponsors like Paddypower.

Live Streaming in FIFA

  • Don Robbie (aka DR Sports): The founder of Arsenal TV, and now DR sports, Don has become a sensation in live-streaming football matches. His unique ‘watch alongs’ in the past have hosted prominent figures like football pundits and transfer agents, and this world cup would be no different.

Live Streaming FIFA

  • The Ahmed Show: As of September 2022, the Ahmed Show has amassed close to 3.6 million subscribers and a count of over 700K views. Since 2015, Ahmed has been uploading FIFA-related content that has spanned over seven different titles, with the most recent release of FIFA 23. He has gained prominence among the Saudi Arabian FIFA community thanks to his exemplary gameplay and humorous personality.
  • Special Mentions: Masterbucks, AA9Skillz, Bhavss14

#5: Social Media May Be Old But Still Remains Gold For Engagement

Whether you love or hate it, #WorldCup fever is officially in full swing! With national emotions running high, social media streams are bustling with football chatter, and there’s lots to play for, especially for those brands and businesses willing to join in.

Whether you understand the offside rule or not, joining the conversation can build brand awareness, shine a light on important issues, and in some cases, even increase revenue.

Moreover, by focusing on the engagement part, brands can promote themselves and go a one-step further, i.e., awareness.

In fact, 58% of Instagram customers report developing an interest in a brand after seeing it in Stories. So, consistently creating Story posts and also Story ads can have a huge impact on your reach. And engagement rates too!

A case in point – When customers feel connected to brands, more than half of consumers (57%) will increase their spending with that brand and 76% will buy from them over a competitor.

FIFA Instagram Stories
Here are some clever ways brands get behind their team and promote themselves:

  • Iceland Foods: Iceland Foods are always keen to stand out from the crowd with its quick-witted sense of humor, and the Iceland vs. Argentina match was a perfect excuse to show it off.

FIFA Engagement Posts

  • Coral: This UK brand showed how easy it is to join the conversation. They posed questions using polls to create debate and get an insight into the audience’s thoughts and feelings. This, later on, helped them in curating more posts related to football.

FIFA Engagement
Alright, while the above-mentioned ways can assist brands in scoring big during the world cup, let us see how they can tie them all into their retention and engagement strategy.

How Can You Engage Customers During FIFA World Cup 2022

We’ve launched a framework called Insight-led Engagement to help you retain more customers. Following this growth flywheel will enable you to make educated, data-driven decisions. Check out the detailed explanation below:

Insights-led Engagement

It is safe to surmise that this edition of the FIFA World Cup will witness its own set of banters and competition amongst the brands (taking a cue from Pepsi vs. Coca-Cola campaigns in 2018).

But the question that remains is –  Who will create the space for themselves?

Brands that will drive insights-led engagement, understand what the customer wants, and provide exactly that will possibly reach the summit. And more importantly, brands that are able to maintain the same momentum post the event.

We wish all the brands, fans, and participating countries luck for this upcoming mega event.

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