Five Ways to Take Advantage of Mobile Advertising During the World Cup

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Professional sports unite millions of people regardless of religion, race, or political view. The popularity of sports crosses national borders, spans cultural differences, and brings together many peoples who don’t share the same language. All they share is the love of the game.

No event demonstrates that notion more than the World Cup. It brings together people from 32 nations, and for 30 days we put aside all of our differences to watch our teams attempt to win the “FIFA World Cup Trophy.”

The World Cup is a big event for marketers and brands not only in Brazil but also across the world. In 2010, FIFA claimed at least 1 billion people across the world saw the World Cup Final.

Researchers have found that sports audiences are particularly receptive to marketing, and mobile advertising offers new and clever ways to reach fans at scale. Here are five ways to take advantage of mobile advertising during the World Cup this year.

1. Use mobile in-app ads or native ads to promote your product before the matches

Sports fans like to start planning their game-day festivities ahead of time, regardless of where they are watching the game, either at home or live, in person. Even casual fans generally prepare a week or two before the game to ensure they have everything they need. For many advertisers, this means there are big benefits to advertising a week or two in advance, not just during an event. Producers of snack foods, soft drinks, beer, and even grilling accessories can promote their products before the event.

2. Hotels, airlines, and travel apps should target travelers booking their trip to and from the matches

Sports fans love to travel to new places to see their favorite teams. What better place to see your country’s national soccer team play than in Brazil? Soccer claims some of the most passionate fans in the world.

For a month, hundreds of thousands of fans will flock to host cities like Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, and Brasília to enjoy not just the games but also the atmosphere and the country. That’s a great opportunity for hotels, airlines, and travel apps to target offers or messaging to travelers. Those same apps can apply geo-targeting as a team advances. Perhaps a family from Spain wants to change travel plans to stay in Brazil if Spain keeps advancing in the tourney—a great way to get some last-second bookings.

3. Increase local retail sales by targeting the location of the matches

As a sports fan who has traveled all over to see my favorite teams, I always forget something—such as toothpaste, or warm clothing that time I went to Pittsburgh… For the World Cup, there will be thousands of people who are not well prepared for the climate. Retailers can use geotargeting to drive consumers to their stores; they can also use tools such as Foursquare or other “check-in” apps to offer coupons to increase their chances of making a sale. In the case of Brazil, where it is expected to be warm, targeting users with things such as swimsuits, sandals, or sunglasses could be a logical move for advertisers.

4. Food delivery apps should increase installs prior to each match

Not everyone cooks at their viewing party, and many sports fans like to order out. In fact, not only pizza delivery sales but also chicken wing delivery sales spike during a major sporting event. During last year’s Super Bowl, Americans ate a whopping 1.23 billion chicken wings. Chicken wings may not be a “go to” delivery option for soccer fans, but there is plenty of opportunity for variety during 30 days of World Cup matches.

Mobile media is still cheap relative to other channels, and restaurants or apps that offer home food delivery can buy downloads and drive sales all the way up to each game. Doing so is cost effective, because these sports fans are already looking to have food delivered. Using push notifications and email to re-engage with customers who have the app installed is another great strategy. Food delivery apps that use push well can increase re-engagement rates significantly.

5. Have the marketing team watch matches together

The popularity of social media has made advertising a 24/7 game. The best sports advertising opportunities now come from interesting or bizarre moments during the event. You might remember Super Bowl 2013, when during the third quarter half of the stadium lights went out. The game was postponed for a full 34 minutes. In that short time span, Oreo put out this tweet. The Oreo tweet became legendary in social media advertising circles, receiving almost as much awareness as the game itself. That clever and unique approach outdid many of the TV ads, at a fraction of the price.

A more recent example of social media guerrilla marketing came at the end of the AFC Divisional Round, when Peyton Manning was televised saying, “What’s weighing on my mind is how soon I can get a Bud Light in my mouth.” As expected, the Bud Light marketing team wasted no time, instantly retweeting the quote and posting a tweet of its own. Twitter lit up, and the retweets for Budweiser didn’t stop until late into the night. With the simple press of a button, significant brand awareness was generated with little or no budget.

Getting the marketing team together for game day is a fun bonding experience. It can also be a productive and creative occasion where great marketing moments are born.

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