by | Mar 12, 2018 | Branding

As an avid fan and follower, I have loved seeing the growth of American soccer in the last 10 years. This might be attributed to the influx of multicultural sports fans or maybe simply because it is the world’s game.

Every year, more Americans become supporters of the beautiful game and the growth is evident. In the last 5 years, Major League Soccer (MLS) has seen 5 new expansion teams and 2 more are in the works for 2020. During the 2014 World Cup, over 26.5 million Americans tuned in for the final, an increase of 10% when compared to the 2010 World Cup final.
“Heineken was not born here. Soccer was not born here. But the U.S. consumer is embracing both.”  
-Nuno Teles, CMO Heineken USA

However with this new interest, comes a challenge for advertisers. Unlike its American counterparts, soccer does not lend itself easily to commercials. With more Americans becoming enthralled with the sport, advertisers are dealing with the challenges of the game. With no breaks during the 45 minute halves and less than 15 minutes during halftime, the scope of influence for traditional television ads are being reduced to nothing. So how have American advertisers gotten over these challenges?

Tournament Sponsorship

The big daddy of them all, this level of advertising is reserved for a small group of brands that can afford the price tag to go along with it. Coca Cola, Visa, and McDonald’s are some to name a few. These partners of the upcoming World Cup enjoy full marketing rights, allowing them to capture the attention of international audiences.

Stadium Sign Boards

Think of them as mini billboards surrounding the pitch. These digital boards rotate brand collateral throughout the game, showing off their goods to the fans in the stadium, as well as all those watching on the live broadcast, like our Orlando billboards. At the club level, these tend to be more localized. On the international level (like the World Cup), brands like Adidas and Budweiser take over.

Jerseys

Now think of these as moving billboards. Teams across the world sell ad placement on their jerseys as an additional point of revenue. The more popular the team, the more money you will have to dish out. In 2016, European teams generated $930 million from shirt sponsors alone. And with this form of advertising, it expands outside of the 11 men on the field. Fans around the world can buy replica jerseys that also have corporate names displayed on the front, substantially multiplying a brand’s reach. Taking inspiration from their European counterparts, the Portland Timbers struck up a cozy relationship with their sponsor Alaskan Airlines. Check out their unique partnership below:

In Game Ads

Due to soccer’s natural lack of stoppage, networks are getting more creative with their advertising by introducing in-stream ads. This form has become a point of contention between networks and viewers. Simple versions of this format include sponsored score boxes which remain static. Whereas, some networks have tested in stream ads that work as a ticker across the bottom of the screen. Networks such as FOX, will need to recoup their $400 million for the rights to broadcast the 2018 and 2020 World Cups and this is how they plan to do it.

Social Media

All of these methods are great for big national brands, but the smaller business will not be able to afford such expensive means of advertising. This is when social media comes into play. With a strategic social media campaign you can hit fans with local ads for marginally less. At Maxmedia Creates, social media marketing is our forte and our methods are much more reasonable and will get you the results you want!

So as the 2018 World Cup fast approaches, the US’s interest in the sport will be at an all time high this summer. Maxmedia Creates is here for all your Orlando advertising needs and would love to sit down with you and figure out your course of action for targeting all the soccer fans in your area. And also, let’s go Orlando City!

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