I woke up this morning thinking the loss by the US men’s soccer team last night had been a nightmare. But sadly it wasn’t. For the first time in three decades, the US won’t be competing in the World Cup.
There are many factors that contributed to the loss, and I’m confident that the team can make the necessary improvements to compete again in 2022. But today, I’m more preoccupied with what this means for marketing in the US. Many US companies have been gearing up for the behemoth event, but now a lot of their concepts, creativity, and investments will need to be redirected in the wake of the loss. The company that’s probably most affected is Fox, which has already agreed to pay $200 million for the English-broadcasting rights to World Cup 2018.
Still, I think there’s opportunity amid the disillusion.
Although World Cup viewership among @ussoccer fans might not live up to past years, many of the 54 million Hispanic Americans will have their eyes glued to the TV next summer to watch their favorite teams. This market has greater buying power than the general market and it consumes three times the social media. The World Cup provides the perfect opportunity for brands to solidify new relationships with this massive audience — relationships that could continue to grow long after the games are over.
What’s more, the English-broadcasting for the 2018 World Cup will actually turn out to be preferred option for many of us considering we’ll be watching matches and having viewing parties with friends, family, and coworkers. And the opportunities don’t end there.
Some of us will upgrade our TVs so we can better see Messi weave down the field. We’ll go to the supermarket to stock up on supplies for the parties we’ll throw, buying beer for the grown-ups, soda for the kids, and snacks for all — the guacamole and chips are a must. We’ll buy food to grill for dinner. We’ll wear the jerseys of our favorite players that we bought from local stores or online. And when it’s all over, we’ll make long-distance calls to relatives in other countries to celebrate (or commiserate) together over the phone.
The World Cup is the biggest sporting event in the world, and in it lies golden opportunity. It’s a worldwide, multicultural party that’s going to happen no matter what — you just have to be there to enjoy it.