The World Cup of Things™


Forget the Internet of Things — the next 2 months will be all about the World Cup

On June 12th all eyes will be on Brazil for the Fifa World Cup 2014, and rightly so. It is after all the biggest sporting event on the planet. 24 teams from across the planet convene in Brazil.

Most of the teams have no delusions that they will leave Brazil clutching the coveted trophy to their collective bosoms and a hefty bonus cheque in their wallet. Simply being there and being able to say they played in a World Cup will be enough. For others, like the Germanys, Spains, Argentinas and of course Brazils of this world, anything less than a win is unacceptable. Both to the team and also their fans.

And brands know all of this. They know who the bankers are and who the surprise packages might be. They see opportunities to bring their brand and message to a wider audience so they will capitalise and if we are being totally honest we can’t really blame them.

The Total in-home audience reach (20+ consecutive minutes) for the last World Cup (South Africa 2010) was 2.2b*. Thats more than a quarter of the world’s population.

So that means that the next 2 months (well actually it’s closer to 3) will be all about the World Cup for brands. Those that aren’t official sponsors will be doing their damnedest to get your attention using the World Cup without directly mentioning the trademarked phraseology and sponsors will have the “Official Sponsor” logo stamped all over everything they do.

And it’s not just the brands. News outlets will talk incessantly about the run up to and the events during dearly hoping that there are some notable events worth talking about. The more lurid and negative the better. Sports media outlets will spend their time tabulating interesting stats and putting price tags on the big performers for you to argue over and talk about on social media, with levels of knowledge, who your club should sign for £85m.

Check your social feeds now and check again in a week and a week after that for mentions of #worldcup (that’s the official hashtag apparently) and watch them rocket. Watch brands use it to wish teams luck and try to engage you in conversation over who’s going to win and what jersey is nicest etc. And PaddyPower. Watch them. There is surely a stunt in the offing. A stage on Ipanema beach replete with ex footballers in green y fronts perhaps?

The world is football mad. You just have to look at the viewership figures for the Premier League from across the world to know that and the World Cup is it’s biggest stage. It’s like four Christmas cycles rolled into one so the brands have to make the most of it. And to be fair the big boys can always be expected to step up. The offerings from both Nike and adidas prove that.

So be prepared all ye of little football love. The World Cup is coming and like it or not, it’s too big an opportunity for brands to miss. You’ll be bombarded with World Cup ads and messaging. Welcome to the “World Cup of Things”™ (Can I trademark that?)


Hugh Curran