In 2014, the game known as “football” in most places outside of the U.S. and Australia is more popular than ever before. Its appeal in the U.S. is also maturing, thanks in part to an ever-expanding Hispanic population, widely known for their love of the game. The interest in the World Cup amongst sports fans globally (according to Google) has been climbing fast. Worldwide, Google claims that the World Cup has more search interest for major sporting events than the Super Bowl, both Summer and Winter Olympics, and the Tour de France combined.
This substantial rise in attention means that this year’s World Cup tournament, set to kick off this week in Brazil, offers an unrivalled opportunity for marketers. Technological advancements have allowed sports fans to engage with matches in new real-time ways that weren’t possible during South Africa’s staging of the Cup in 2010. Brands who want to win over the 2014 World Cup audience, particularly those in the wagering landscape, would be wise to take note of these changes, and to follow suit.
Football fans are largely renowned for being fanatical. They are passionate about the game year round, whether it is a Premier League, FA Cup, or UEFA Champions League match. So, it makes sense that the World Cup – the absolute pinnacle of global football events – heightens emotions and creates a unique swell of national pride amongst fans.
A game can be won or lost on penalty shoot-outs, teams are knocked out from the competition prematurely in shock eliminations, and sometimes an underdog excels far beyond expectations. A game can also make or break a single hero on the field, and in each of these occasions, fans scrutinize every aspect of a game, team or player via the Internet for personal knowledge and statistical edge in their betting.
Today’s culture of around-the-clock connectivity means that many fans watching a match now have a Smartphone in hand. This is a relatively new phenomenon. Consider that only 18% of searches for games, players and teams during the 2010 World Cup final were done on a mobile device.
Google research sheds further light on just how much growth there has been in the mobile market in the past four years. Compare that modest number of 2010 with 63% of searches during a popular UEFA Champions League match in 2014 done on mobile—an early indicator of what we’ll see during this year’s World Cup.
The Latin American time zone and schedule for matches will also see online and mobile betting forms take centre stage, as casual sports fans look to take a token interest in a match they’re watching from home, and seasoned and serious sports bettors try to stay ahead of their financial game in real time.
Couple this with more mature betting markets and the increased availability of online and mobile betting options, and industry insiders predict this World Cup will break records worldwide for bets placed on Mobile phones and Tablets.
Our Digital Fuel founder Toby Oddy poses the question that’s on many marketers’ minds now, “Is mobile going to be dominant or is the tablet device going to win the match?”
Similarly, Google indicates that Mobile plus Tablet searches reached 75% of football and generic betting queries at peak sporting points during 2013. Based on this insight, they estimate that the figure could reach 80% throughout many of the World Cup matches.
Search engine marketing research shows us that Mobile is the device that dominates during the game and as people wake up in the morning. But there are also high volumes of Mobile usage compared to Desktop throughout the night, and as the weekend nears, mobile usage increases.
So, it will be interesting to see which platform – Mobile or Tablet – comes out on top, particularly when it’s clear that many of the wagering operators have made a big marketing push for their tablet offerings in the months leading up to the World Cup, including BetFred Australia.
As World Cup excitement continues to escalate, the uptake of online and mobile betting that’s about to grip our sports-crazed world is equally certain to rise. So, hold onto your World Cup caxirolas, because things are about to reach fever pitch as operators get uber competitive in a bid to outdo their nearest online and mobile betting rivals
What remains less certain is which operators will successfully capitalize in the digital wagering landscape during the Brazil tournament. The answer to this rests clearly on their ability to reach and engage the World Cup betting customer across the Mobile and Tablet platforms.
If you would like to know more about Digital Fuel’s World Cup Research please contact us