The year 2018 is a special one, and the reason is not far-fetched. It’s a World Cup year and plenty of talk and engagement is going to center around the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
For brands, there’s even more reason to be excited! Apart from the pomp and pageantry associated with the once-in-four-years event, it’s a fantastic opportunity for them to leverage the tournament to drive visibility, share of voice, share of mind, and sales.
Nevertheless, in the frenzy to get into the World Cup groove and take advantage of the massive leeway it offers in terms of marketing, brands must be careful not to infringe on the 2018 World Cup Law. This includes, but is not limited to using names of event, trademarks, event logos and official mascots, and posters or designs to promote their brand if they are not direct sponsors of the event.
This is often perceived as difficult to achieve, but there’s a way out.
Whether you are a small brand desiring to gain some much needed visibility that could turn your fortune around, or an already known name seeking to spread your tentacles to drive patronage, there are ways to achieve your goal without running afoul of the stringent restrictions placed by the organisers of the mundial, and here are some of them;
Capitalize on early Nigerian matches: Since the Super Eagles of Nigeria started featuring at the FIFA World Cup Finals in 1994, they have never gone past the second round stage. This insight means that any brand looking to leverage on the team’s appearance at the 2018 tournament must ensure they make hay while the sun shines, by getting their brands in the face of consumers during the first and second rounds of the competition where they are likely to gain more traction with regards to marketing and sales.
Offer deals, discounts and football-related prizes: The run-in to the World Cup and the tournament proper is a great time to offer mouth-watering deals and discounts such as boots, balls, and jerseys. However, you must be careful not to inscribe any World Cup related terms or slogans on them. Your promos and discounts can also be driven using football-related terms such as “Shoot to Win”, “Get in the Game” and others which are safe enough not to be regarded as ambush marketing.
Make sure your product is readily available: This should go without saying because the period of the World Cup is one when people are more open to spending. Those in the FMCG industry in particular can take advantage of the single biggest sporting event in the world by ensuring their brands are in the face of consumers who are likely to be munching on a snack or having a drink while enjoying a game. It’s not the time to be hold back on flooding the market with your brand, whether it’s a beer, pizza, a fizzy drink, or candy.
Increase your social media engagement: It’s inevitable that the role social media will play in the build up to the 2018 World Cup, during the event, and even the next few weeks after would be huge. If you have been absent in the virtual community, this is the time to create a presence. Get in the football conversations (only remember your limits), create your own hashtag and get in on all the banter and camaraderie the subject of the round leather game has the capacity to generate. This will help to create more awareness and visibility for your brand.
Use Facebook: With over 2 billion active monthly users, Facebook remains the king of social media, and any opportunity to engage prospective clients through this medium should not be passed up. In addition, Facebook remains the largest community of sports fans anywhere in the world, therefore, the period of the 2018 World Cup presents a rare chance to drive awareness, and ultimately, sales.