The FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar kicks off later this week, and Canadians from coast to coast are already seeing crafty marketing campaigns across traditional, digital and social platforms to draw their attention.
54% of Canadians, up to 20 million people, will watch the World Cup at above-average rates, according to Environics Analytics (EA) research.
As diverse as the teams/countries being supported are, including Canada of course, so is the variety of media vehicles preferred and used by patrons. But a one-size-fits-all strategy will not get you to goal—you need different but interlocking strategies, aligned to each consumer group, to come together as a team and win the game.
Over half of the 20 million World Cup viewers are “avid” fans, based on a fan segmentation conducted by EA using PRIZM®. The lion’s share of avid fans, Multicultural Fanatics and Online Onlookers, consist of diverse cultural backgrounds where grassroots soccer reigns supreme, and they carry that passion to their new home in Canada.
Multicultural Fanatics are urban dwellers that are more likely to visit sports bars for games, big and small, while Online Onlookers—as their name implies—are more likely to follow their teams and games online, on websites, apps and streaming services.
Both groups spend a large amount of time watching European soccer, visiting international soccer-related websites and online sports betting sites at high rates to stay on the pulse of competitions that fuel their social circle chatter and interactions.Effectively reaching either of these avid fan groups requires unique strategies, from media types and channels to the imagery, tone and language that will resonate and drive action and loyalty to your brand.
Another important factor for marketers to consider is timing. Traditionally, the World Cup is a summer tournament. It is increasingly capturing a worldwide audience with 3.5 billion viewers of FIFA World Cup 2018 up to 5.2 billion viewers of EuroCup 2020, of which 3.6 million watched the finals on CTV or TSN in Canada*. This 2022 edition clashes with Christmas advertising and with reigning North American sports in full mid-season swing: NHL, NFL and NBA.
Affluent Afficionados is a third “avid” soccer fan group also displaying very high rates of affinity and spending on the NHL, both online and in person at professional games multiple times a year. This group of middle-aged to older families earning well-above-average incomes will likely be splitting their spare dollars between the World Cup and the NHL. Some questions for marketers will be:
Rounding out the five distinct fan groups are the Big Game Boomers and Hometown Patrons. These groups show a high level of national pride and support North American soccer leagues, but mostly tune in for the “big games”. They will most likely be supporting Team Canada’s bid at the tournament, and between them are vastly different media habits and communication preferences.
These last two groups are primarily Canadian-born and over-index on their engagement with the NHL. Unlike the Affluent Afficionados, they earn below-average incomes, are older, more rural and a lot less digital-savvy. This segment will likely watch games at home on channels they are highly engaged with, such as TSN and CTV. Reaching them for attention needs to come via traditional media, where the return on investment is uncertain. Precise targeting can help weigh this equation in the marketers’ favour.
Using EA’s ClickScapes database,
we can get privacy-compliant and detailed information on which websites and apps are visited by these fan groups, how often and by which key consumer groups. With the Opticks Vividata dataset, brands can get key data on media types, channels and preferences by priority group for the same purpose of precisely targeting marketing spend to
maximize ROI. Additionally, the SocialValues dataset provides insights into different consumer/fan mindsets. By combining these datasets, brands can develop targeted campaigns for the right sets of eyes.
The landscape of Canadian consumers is vastly diverse. It’s a blend of various cultures that have different beliefs, interests, shopping habits, media preferences and priorities for spending disposable income on Sports & Entertainment. Brands that commit to understanding their consumers intimately will be empowered to craft the right strategies to attract the most consumers, efficiently and for the long term. Those are the brands that will win! They will win consumers’ hearts and loyalty if they are successful in aligning their raison d’etre and values to those of the varying consumer groups they serve—the ultimate goal for all brands.
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