Score a goal by leveraging soccer fans for marketing and brand engagement

by | Oct 28, 2022 | Public Relations

The fall is ripe with marketing opportunities: holiday shopping, MLB playoffs, NFL season kicking off and NBA and NHL seasons underway. But this fall, a big opportunity is falling into marketers’ laps—the highly anticipated FIFA Men’s World Cup. This 64-game soccer tournament kicks off on Sunday, November 20th from Qatar and presents big opportunities for brand marketers and advertisers alike. Recently, Adweek touts that “This Year’s World Cup Is a Key Performance Marketing Opportunity for US Brands,” and reported that NBCUniversal has “already sold approximately 90 percent of its advertising inventory” for the 2022 World Cup within 100 days before the tournament.

Score a goal by leveraging soccer fans for marketing and brand engagement

World Cup advertisers will surely evaluate countless measures to affirm their decision to advertise. One key indicator that all marketers should measure is the impact on a brand’s offline and online conversation. Engagement Labs research shows that talk matters. In fact, Engagement Labs research shows that online and offline conversation, together, drive about 19 percent of purchases, but online conversation by itself drives less than half as much.

Our analytics study contribution to the Journal of Advertising Research“How Measuring Consumer Conversations Can Reveal Advertising Performance” confirms that there is a close and valuable relationship between word-of-mouth and advertising success—from major sporting events, sponsorships or tentpole events. The analytics estimated that, on average, 25 percent of advertising’s impact involves the stimulation of conversations.

As a marketer looking to maximize your 2022 results, Engagement Labs has the data and insights to help you drive advocacy that will amplify your messages and accelerate sales. With the World Cup and sports top of mind, here are some meaningful data and insights on the powerful audience of soccer fans.

Soccer Fans Are Natural Conversationalists

Soccer Fans engage in 90 offline brand conversations each week—15 percent more than the average person (78).

Score a goal by leveraging soccer fans for marketing and brand engagement

Not surprisingly, sports is a big topic of conversation for Soccer Fans—they engage in 7.4 conversations a week on average (+28% from the average person). What is surprising is that they are conversationalists in a wide variety of categories, even more so than the average person. In particular, Soccer Fans have about 50% more travel conversations each week, in addition to many more conversations about:

  • Tech (+27 percent)
  • Personal care/beauty (+29 percent)
  • Children’s products (+41 percent)
  • Household products (+2 percent
  • Telecom (+28 percent)

Score a goal by leveraging soccer fans for marketing and brand engagement

A wide assortment of brands index high among Soccer Fans, this includes the more obvious brands like MLS and Adidas, coupled with the not so obvious brands, like Trivago, Nivea, Audi, BMW, Booking.com, Bank of America, Allstate and Coca-Cola Energy.

Score a goal by leveraging soccer fans for marketing and brand engagement

Soccer Fans are Everyday Influencers

According to Insider Intelligence’s forecast, US influencer marketing spending will reach $4.14 billion in 2022. At Engagement Labs we have long believed in the power of everyday influencers to drive business results. Everyday influencers—by which we mean the 1 in 10 consumers who are sought out for their advice and whose recommendations are heeded—have 131 brand-related conversations every week versus the national average of 73. Further, they regularly seek out information, including that put out by brands, that helps them keep up with what’s new and worth talking about. By reaching these influencers, marketers enjoy almost twice the word-of-mouth reach than average consumers provide, and the impact of their recommendations is four times as great due to their credibility and perceived expertise.

Thus, the degree of influence matters to marketers—and Soccer Fans are wired to be influentialSoccer Fans are nearly 2x more likely to be identified as overall Consumer Influencers. Beyond being just dubbed general influencers, Soccer Fans are also far more likely to be influential in specific categories, especially telecom, travel, children’s products, finance, wine & spirits and gaming.

Score a goal by leveraging soccer fans for marketing and brand engagement

Sports and entertainment are two of the most popular sectors. Rain or shine, win or lose, even during a pandemic, fans are always there—talking about and standing by their teams. Sports marketers, media companies and brands are looking to our data to analyze and understand how people are talking about them, both on and offline.

If your brand is a sponsor, partner or executing campaigns around the World Cup or other major sporting event, Engagement Labs can provide unique data (offline as well as online social intelligence), influencer marketing and/or ad performance measurement. If you wish to measure the impact World Cup is having on your brand conversations or explore more about soccer fans or other audience segments, we invite you to reach out to us.

This article originally appeared on the Engagement Labs blog; reprinted with permission.

Engagement Labs
Engagement Labs is an industry-leading data and analytics firm that provides social intelligence for Fortune 500 brands and companies.


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