We are a little under a fortnight away from the kickoff to World Cup 2018 in Russia.

A lot of us in the office are football fans but we are also fans of all things marketing, creative and digital. Leading up to and during one of the most watched events on the planet, big sponsors pull out all the financial and creative stops with their marketing campaigns. To give you an idea of how far the big players are prepared to go, FIFA made $404 million from marketing rights…

But, how have sponsors involved in the biggest sporting event in the world been affected by changes in technology and the current geopolitical climate?


Politics Putin??

Brand campaigns for each World Cup are linked to the host country. Four years ago, brands celebrated the vibrancy and colour associated with Brazil and carnival festivities. Russia, as the host nation of the twenty-first World Cup, has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. From the suspected poisoning of a former Russian spy on British soil to the never-ending speculations into their involvement with influencing US presidential elections and the Brexit campaigns.

This has had a clear impact on FIFA’s ability to fill their sponsorship quotas which have resulted in huge financial losses. A month out from the previous World Cup, sponsors were jumping at the opportunity to sign up stars and ready their campaigns. At the same stage, ahead of this year’s tournament, FIFA had failed to fill those spots and sponsors have been much slower to jump on the World Cup bandwagon.



Some have said Brazil 2014 was the social media World Cup. We are four years down the line which might not seem a long time but in the world of technology, it is a lifetime (there has been four Iphone’s since then).

Football is linked to the fans and the biggest competitions get fans talking. Advances in technology have made communication through social media apps like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat more expressive. Now, more than ever, we can react to content in the online community.  During the 2017 Champions League Final, football fans were 48% more active than the average Snapchat user. Even those who aren’t die hard football fans enjoy events like the World Cup because of the shared experience of watching with friends who are.

One prominent media partnership recently announced has been between Copa90 and Snapchat. Through this partnership, Copa90, aims to give its users a more up close and personal experience of the World Cup by using Snapchat correspondents to report on their experience.

On June 14th, half of the planet’s population are likely to be watching this event and if their eyes aren’t glued to the TV, they will be sharing video content, updating Instagram stories or following football-related hashtags.