World Cup marketing goes digital

As the FIFA World Cup kicks off in Brazil, marketers are using digital channels as their key promotion tools.

As soccer's biggest event - The World Cup - kicks off with the home nation, Brazil, playing Croatia, the sport's governing body - FIFA - is looking forward to banking more than $1bn from advertising and other sponsorship rights. However, more than ever before, that income - and the marketing benefits for the sponsors themselves - will be derived from online marketing channels.

Castrol, one of eight sponsors of the 2014 tournament, will again be using its now globally recognised Castrol Index to analyse each kick and tackle made and every centimetre of every pitch covered by all the players involved.  As well as stadium advertising, the lubes producer is making the most of its Facebook page, which currently boasts more than one quarter of a million 'likes'.

However, this pales into insigificance in comparison to FIFA global partner, Budweiser, which has created an entire digital hub to bring global social media and news feeds to a single website.  Before the World Cup even kicked off, the associated Facebook page had garnered more than 11 million likes.

But even that level of digital marketing cannot eclipse the brand strength of some of the players themselves, with the likes of Portugal's mega-star striker Cristiano Ronaldo claiming more than 24 million people watching his Twitter feed and Spain's Andres Iniesta commanding 16 million Facebook followers.