A World Cup Opportunity Missed?


The experience economy is currently one of the most important global trends in marketing. People are craving unique, memorable and shareable moments, especially around things they are passionate about such as the World Cup and I believe there is an opportunity for brands to capitalise on this right now in England. 

As well as discussing the amazing achievements of Gareth Southgate’s squad over in Russia a lot of the conversation among football fans at the moment centres around the best location to cheer on England when they take on Croatia in the Semi Final tonight.  

Most people will settle for the local pub or the comfort of their own sofa but there are many more who are looking for the best possible environment and atmosphere, one that rivals being there. This has been heightened in this World Cup due to the fact that only a small number of dedicated fans have made the difficult trek to Russia. 

We’ve all seen the footage of beer and limbs flying everywhere as England fans celebrate another goal or victory gathered around big screens, they’ve been shared far and wide on social, the national news and even on the official ITV and BBC match coverage. What you won’t see when you’re watching this footage however is a brand. 

Most non-sponsor brands have focused on trying to own a piece of the World Cup pie online and there have been some great examples of this, especially the boarding pass that British Airways posted recently which was brilliant. I believe however that the right brand could capitalise on bringing the game to fans in a unique and interesting way through a live experience and then magnifying it to an even broader audience, the only brand that has really done anything interesting is Budweiser with their boat floating down the Thames. 

Brands may be put off doing anything due to the fact they think they need to do something huge for a massive crowd but with the right idea and amplification plan this isn’t necessarily the case. Mastercard and Heineken both show regularly that if you do something amazing for a small number of people it can still reach the masses through the content it generates. It’s all about the experience. 

With regards to negotiating the notoriously prickly FIFA lawyers as long as a brand doesn’t use any of the FIFA IP it’s possible to host a screening event, and many of the world’s leading brands have successfully created an association with the tournament without needing to use any of the protected assets. 

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to leverage the incredible atmosphere in England at the moment, to bring fans something they are craving and to elevate the right brand but in my opinion no brands have taken advantage of the occasion. 

Natalie Corbett