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Report: World Cup to boost global adspend by $2.4 billion this year

By on June 11, 2018

SAN JUAN – This year’s FIFA World Cup in Russia will add $2.4 billion to the global advertising market, according to research by Zenith, the media planning and buying agency.

The net amount takes into account the extra money spent by advertisers seeking to reach World Cup audiences and any reductions in spending by advertisers that wish to avoid the period, the agency said.

Zenith, with operations in Puerto Rico, is the agency used by Badillo Saatchi & Saatchi, both of which are part of communications group Publicis One Puerto Rico,along with Starcom and Leo Burnett.

In a media release, Alfredo Linares, vice president and media director at Zenith in Puerto Rico, said the estimated incremental amount in local media spending generated by the FIFA World Cup will be $3.5 million, which represents 0.9% of the total 2018 media adspend in Puerto Rico.

“Contrary to what is the norm in most other countries around the world, where soccer is king, the most popular sports events in Puerto Rico are basketball and baseball. However, devoted soccer fans have reflected an accelerated growth in Puerto Rico over time and advertisers locally have developed advertising campaigns, promotions and other activities around the celebration of the 2018 World Cup,” Linares said.

TV coverage of World Cup matches attract some 3.5 billion people in more than 200 countries, “during a season when, in the northern hemisphere at least, television audiences are typically at their annual low point,” the agency explained, adding that the event “attracts people who are hard to reach on television: young, upmarket and mobile consumers who are more likely to spend their time outside the home and adopt the latest media technologies.”

Because of the time zones in which the matches will take place, about 40% of the potential audience will be asleep when they are played, thus many viewers will end up watching clips on social media, where fans will also discuss matches. Zenith expects “heavy paid social activity around the matches as brands seek to join the conversation.”

The agency forecasts increased traffic for news and sports sites, and online searches, which could boost online advertising beyond social media. Newspapers are likely to sell more copies during the Cup, too, Zenith says.

Meanwhile, Russia is expected to see a $64 million adspend boost, representing 2.1% of the country’s ad spending in 2018.

The most ad spending “will be in China, where we expect the World Cup to generate US$835 million in extra adspend, or 1.0% of the entire ad market. There are few established brand relationships with the Word Cup in China, and this year advertisers have been aggressively bidding to establish their association with soccer,” despite the absence of China’s soccer team.

The prediction for stateside ad spending is of $400 million. “The US team’s failure to qualify for this Cup, for the first time in more than three decades, is likely to reduce audiences, particularly given the large time differences with Russia. So we think the event will boost the US market by just 0.2% of total annual expenditure this year,” the researchers said.

“The World Cup provides a reliable boost to the global ad market every four years, and will be responsible for 10% of all the growth in ad dollars this year,” Jonathan Barnard, Zenith’s head of forecasting and director of global intelligence, adds in the agency’s release.

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