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E-commerce: Four Tips to Score with World Cup Digital Marketing

· b2c,hot topic marketing,Digital Marketing,e-commerce

Football is one of humanity’s biggest unifying symbols: After all, over 40% of the world’s population (3.2 billion) watched games from the 2014 World Cup. It is clear that the World Cup has stolen the hearts and attention of many of the world’s consumers but how can you leverage this to generate awareness, capture leads, and inspire customers?

Before sharing our four top tips to score with your international World Cup-related email and digital campaigns, we need to brief you on how to stay on-side with FIFA’s intellectual property as a non-sponsor brand.

Staying On-side with your Promotions:

A quick introduction: FIFA’s intellectual property includes trademarks such as ‘FIFA’, ‘World Cup 2018’ and ‘Russia 2018’, as well as images such as the World Cup trophy, emblem and mascot. To steer clear of copyright issues, all non-sponsor brands should ensure their marketing materials are in compliance with these guidelines.

However, your brand may promote combinations of words to ensure that, while the FIFA trademarks aren’t breached, your brand may be associated with the “festival of football”or “summer of football”. To kick-start this process, your team may wish to brainstorm to identify how your brand can be associated with Russia and football. Upon completion of this step, you are ready to get inspired by our top tips.

Tip 1: Hot Topic Marketing

Have you experienced the pain of watching your favourite team lose due to a questionable refereeing decision? Rather than cry, this UK eyewear chain (Specsavers) launched a “Goal-line technology” campaign that used humour to link its brand to a hot topic (see image below).

Now imagine if you send your mailing list this EDM (Electronic Direct Mail) and you can imagine how conversion rates will spike. Of course, this is only possible if you have done the preparation work prior (brainstorming potential brand associations) to the event.

Hot Topic Marketing, Digital Marketing

Tip 2: Contests

An well-known example is Vatti kitchen appliances. This company, one of the French World Cup team's sponsors, has promised to a refund for ‘World Cup Champion’ appliances bought between 1-30 Jun 2018 if this team wins the title. Sales soared, share price fell as investors got indigestion from the USD 4.3million exposure in terms of the potential payout.

Of course, not every brand is going to launch such a high-profile campaign. However, contests may seek creative submissions, e.g. creative linkages of a trending World Cup hashtag and your brand. For example, Liam Edwards, an English Football Association employee, shared a picture of an email he typed to Gareth Southgate (England’s manager) recycling a hashtag (#ItsComingHome) that captured the level of expectations among its fans. As you view Liam’s picture below, can you imagine the positive social media exposure that your brand will capture if such a contest was organised in England?

Beyond collecting user-generated content (UGC) and adding an element of fun to your promotions, such contests also serve to:

  • Bring in leads
  • Inspire participants to share
  • Collect potential customers’ email addresses

Tip 3: Special Targeted Promotions

E-Commerce works well when your potential customers are searching for products similar to yours prior to the big kick-off. This creates additional sales opportunities for products related to watching World Cup games, e.g. party supplies like barbecue equipment, selected food and refreshment.

Assuming your brand fits into this category of products, l recommend that you leverage on your social media and email marketing lists to publicise special discounts if customers check out using special discount codes associated with your brand. Therefore, you should plan these targeted promotions well in advance to boost your engagement and conversion rates.

Tip 4: Don’t forget the women

Don’t fall for the lazy stereotype that women aren’t “serious” football fans. According to Ctrip, 57% of the Chinese fans who travelled to Russia are female. Therefore, female fans are willing to spend both time and money for their love of football.

Another benefit is that running promotions targeting women will ensure that your campaign stands out! An easy way to get started is to choose a more female-centric campaign hashtag. Mondelez (parent brand of Ritz, Trident, Chips Ahoy) was the official snack sponsor of the female U.S football team during the Women’s World Cup in 2015. This brand cleverly came up with a #PassTheLove campaign (see below) which encouraged fans to share their support for the U.S team.

Hot Topic Marketing, Women Marketing



I hope this article provides some inspiration for your brand. There is no one-size-fits-all approach but apply the principles covered above and your brand should be scoring a digital marketing goal soon. So huddle up with your team, come up with a marketing game plan and have fun executing!

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