2022 FIFA World Cup
This year, the FIFA World Cup will be taking place in Qatar from 21st November to 18th December. For the first time in the event’s history, it is being held during the northern hemisphere’s winter months to avoid the blistering heat of summer in the Middle East.
To call the World Cup a major sporting event would be something of an understatement. In 2018, the competition garnered over 3.5 billion total viewers – that’s almost half of all humans on planet Earth – and 1.1 billion total viewers for the final match alone.
While this year’s tournament hasn’t come without its controversy, we get the feeling that we’ll soon be swept up by that familiar football fever once things get under way later in the year.
Christmas and the World Cup – a headache for marketers?
For many marketers, Christmas represents the pinnacle of the calendar year. It’s when they’re looking to maximise engagement, tap into the festive spirit, and ultimately boost sales of products or services. All in all, a very busy period that usually involves months of strategizing and planning.
Then along comes the first ever winter World Cup.
It’s taking place during the months of November and December, in air-conditioned stadia in the middle of the desert, with estimated average temperatures of around 24°C (75°F). Not a snowman, reindeer, or Christmas jumper in sight.
Why even bother trying to shoehorn this one-off event into your bustling Christmas marketing schedule, you might wonder? Wouldn’t it be easier to just dismiss it this time round and revisit the football theme at the next Euros or World Cup?
Yes, you could ignore it. But you’d be missing out on a huge opportunity to engage with sports fans and create those all-important brand connections through an event that only comes round once every four years.
- Qatar 2022 will be the first World Cup to take place in an Arab nation
- It’s only the second one to be held in Asia (following Japan/South Korea in 2002)
- In 2018, the event added an estimated $2.4 billion to the global advertising market
- Two thirds of the World Cup’s market value comes from Europe
- France is the reigning champion, beating Croatia in the 2018 final
- Brazil is the most successful team in history with five tournament wins
- The current World Cup trophy was made to replace the original Jules Rimet trophy, which was stolen in 1983 and never recovered
World Cup marketing ideas
Big-budget advertising campaigns to one side, there are many ways in which brands and organisations can align themselves with the world’s most popular sporting event:
- Run a prize competition (great when combined with a branded game – more on that below)
- Create limited football-themed products or services
- Offer discounts to reflect certain results (e.g. for every match your home nation wins – this works particularly well for pub and restaurant promotions)
- Encourage user-generated content on social media
- Lean into a football theme at trade shows and events
- Use gamification to tap into the football fever
This last point is where things can get really fun. Since we’re celebrating people’s love of the beautiful game, why not try providing your audience with a game of your own?
Budget-friendly football-themed games
Here at Peek & Poke, we build games that help you to create meaningful connections with your audience while delivering on marketing objectives. Designed with player engagement in mind, they’re a great way to keep people coming back and interacting with your brand.
Online games are ideally suited for running a prize competition or giveaway. You can share the game link with your mailing list or social media followers, and use the in-game features to deploy voucher codes, promote products, drive traffic, and re-engage your audience over an extended campaign period.
With our ready-to-go Piknik service, you can add your logo and messaging to create your very own game for as little as £695 for a 1-month licence – ideal if you’re new to the world of branded games and fancy dipping your toes in the water during the month-long World Cup tournament.
Here are just some of the games we offer (all with free demos – go ahead and try them out!):
Soccer Skill Shot
Our Soccer Skill Shot game gives your audience a target-practice format to test their skills against the clock. Based on a fun football theme, it’ll make a great addition to a World Cup marketing campaign!
Learn more about how DFDS tailored this with a ferry/travel theme in their Quayside Kickabout game, or play the demo version below!
Football Rooftop Runner
The Football Rooftop Runner will have your audience leaping over buildings while collecting coins and trophies and booting balls away as they go. Using an endless runner format, it’ll keep players coming back again and again to try and beat their score!
Digital Advent Calendar
If you’re thinking of ways to combine your World Cup and Christmas marketing plans, look no further than the digital advent calendar! This can be used alongside a football-themed game to create a 4-week, 12-day, 24-day, or however-many-you-like-day online calendar with a new door opening every day.
And while our existing calendar has a Christmas theme, you could even customise this to suit your campaign. How about a World Cup theme and prizes each week or on the days that your home nation is playing?
You could even update these prize days as your team progresses through the tournament, provided you’re lucky enough to support such a team (the marketing department here at Peek & Poke comprises a mix of Welsh, Scottish, and English, so we’ll see how that plays out… 👀).
If you’d like to find out more about how this format could work for your brand or campaign, or how you could customise it, feel free to get in touch and we’ll be happy to chat.
Advent Calendar Super-Bundle
Fancy taking the idea of a digital advent calendar and super-charging your efforts? Consider an advent calendar super-bundle for a multi-game bonanza!
This option gives you the ability to cycle through four different games, allowing you to keep things fresh and engage your audience over the course of the festive period. The format is usually reserved for running multiple Christmas games – like Derivco Sports did – but we’d love to discuss how we can incorporate our football-themed games into the mix in this World Cup year.
Customised football-themed games to support a World Cup promotion
If you’re looking to add more customisation to your World Cup campaign, you can tailor any of our games to match your branding and ideas. Here are a few examples of what you could do to create football-themed versions of the games:
- Customise the card designs – think football characters, footballing imagery, or different flags/kits to reflect the countries at the World Cup
- Add custom power cards to match your football campaign theme
Learn more about Mega Match.
- Have your player collect footballs and avoid red and yellow cards
- Use footballs in place of the power-up items
- Change the enemy characters to angry referees or coaching staff!
Learn more about Maze.
- Replace the icons with football-themed designs
- Change the layouts, obstacles, and environment to reflect a World Cup campaign
Learn more about Match-3.
- Change the characters to footballers or football fans
- Create custom collectibles or characters to avoid adding to your conga line
- Change the environment to a football stadium to have the line weave in and out around the stands
Learn more about Conga.
- Add extra categories relating to the World Cup or your campaign
- Create a whole new set of questions customised for your audience
- Change the quiz host and voiceover
Learn more about Quiz.
- Replace the cannonballs with mini footballs
- Replace the alien characters with targets
Learn more about Bouncer.
World cup ideas for work
If you’re looking for ways to celebrate the World Cup with work colleagues, a good ol’ sweepstake is always a good choice. Draw teams from a hat and watch as your friends suddenly throw their support behind that outsider who will maybe, just maybe, make it all the way to the final!
Other ideas include decorating the workplace with the flags of competing countries, running a five-a-side football tournament, or simply offering flexi-time to allow staff to watch the games of home nations that have made it to the tournament.
As a final thought, remember all those branded games we’ve been talking about? Turns out they’re also a great way to engage staff or have a bit of fun with B2B clients or partners in your industry. Just take a look at these case studies for Greene King and Beazley, who have used games in slightly different ways to engage their audiences.
Have a ball!
We hope we’ve managed to provide you with a little World Cup marketing inspiration to help you plan your own campaign for 2022! If you’d like to discuss an idea for a football-themed game, feel free to get in touch and we’ll be happy to chat it through with you.
If you’re looking for more Christmas-specific marketing inspiration, help yourself to our free ebook – Game Time! Your Guide to Christmas Game Success.
You can also check out these other handy resources from our blog:
- World Cup Pub and Restaurant Promotions
- A Guide to Brand Engagement (with Strategies and Examples)
- Branded Game Success: It’s All in the Briefs
- Social Media Advent Calendar Examples
Until next time! ⚽