the World Cup officially underway, marketers are looking for ways to join in on the excitement and connect with keyed up soccer fans.
While story lines and star players will likely
emerge as the tournament moves along, U.S. consumers are already showing special interest in some specific trends.
For one, two thirds of Americans are focused on the unequivocal
“underdogs” in the “Group of Death” -- Group G, which consists of Germany, Portugal, Ghana and USA -- named due to the relative strength (or weakness) of each team.
That’s according to new research from 360i’s Insights & Planning group, which looked into what U.S. fans are talking about ahead this year’s games.
“Real-time digital marketing activations will be especially important given that World Cup matches do not include formal breaks for TV ads, as is the case during most live events,” Brian
Vieira, director of insights and planning at 360i, blogged on Thursday.
“As vocal fans watch the U.S. Men’s National Team in the Group Stage, brands should prepare to be
present and active during any possible eruption of celebration and pride as the underdog team chips away at the odds before them,” according to Vieira. “An early lead or unsuspecting win
could provide ripe opportunities to cater to fans’ desire to celebrate in social media.”
Most of American’s pre-World Cup chatter has been about particular players,
which was largely due to the controversy created by Landon Donovan’s unexpected absence from the U.S. team’s final roster.
Also of note, a surprisingly high volume of
chatter (5%) has been about the Belgian national team, despite that fact that only 0.1% of Americans are of Belgian descent, per U.S. Census Data.
Vieira said the finding corroborates
the insight that U.S. fans are looking to the dark-horse candidate to add drama in this year’s tournament.
Stateside, interest in the World Cup is bigger than ever. According to
a recent Reuters/Ipsos poll, one in three U.S. consumers plan to follow this year’s tournament. That’s about 105 million people, or roughly the number who tune in to the Super Bowl.