A cup of opportunities

July 6, 2018
4 min read

Russia’s World Cup is still underway with some unexpected results… and not just on the field. Brands in Latin America are launching innovative concepts to make this quadrennial sports event a cup of opportunities.

Isolated no more

If soccer is an integral part of Latin America culture, the World Cup only comes to reinforce a sense of belonging and unity that the sport offers people.

Supporting soccer provides an opportunity for connection and unity in an age of political divide. During times when many people feel divided and isolated, the World Cup is bringing people together. Brazilians say they feel more united, patriotic and become closer with friends and family. It’s not just the feeling of unity that the World Cup creates, people also become more optimistic towards life before and during the World Cup.

Some brands are capitalizing on the patriotic feelings that emerge during the World Cup, to create new campaigns and raise brand awareness. We’ve seen Avvio Mobile launch a World Cup-themed smartphone that features the colors of the Colombia flag and includes apps and widgets to keep up-to-date with the matches.

Águila, a beer brand from Colombia, has launched a campaign that sees the brand change its name temporarily to “Colombia” in a bid to encourage feelings of patriotism, belonging, and bringing people together, while encouraging them to forget their differences.

Other initiatives are aiming to boost togetherness through sharing occasions and celebrations. We’ve seen a Facebook Messenger chatbot from Brahma that helps to deliver beers to Brazilian fans, a World Cup sticker delivery service from James Delivery helping Brazilian consumers complete their World Cup album and a Catuaba Selvagem bottle that can be turned into a soccer horn helping fans celebrate.
“Brazilians say they feel more united, patriotic and become closer with friends and family. during the World Cup.”

Soccer to the people

We’ve also seen brands tapping into patriotic feelings through social campaigns. For instance, Brazil-based Brahma is boosting connections by enhancing actual access to the games. The brand has launched a campaign that offers democratic access to technology and to the world’s most important sporting event. The beer brand is offering internet access to people in remote locations and broadcasting the games in public spaces such as bus shelters and newstands.

But not all social campaigns have gained consumer support. Mastercard’s World Cup children’s meals campaign stirred debate and ended up being pulled. The credit card brand announced that for each goal scored by Messi or Neymar, it will provide 10,000 meals to the World Food Programme to fight childhood hunger and malnutrition in Latin America and the Caribbean. The campaign faced immediate backlash on social media by people claiming that compassion should never be turned into a game.

Tapping into emotions

The World Cup like other major events are a fertile place for brands to play in. These events offer a unique opportunity for marketers to entertain and connect with consumers through brand awareness.

Brands looking to capitalize on the momentum of the tournament would do well to tap into consumer euphoria and anxiety that emerges during the games. There’s scope to explore initiatives; gum to help fans chew their anxiety away when their team plays, a live broadcast of the games during flights and even free rides to fans consuming alcohol.

Driven by strong feelings of national pride, consumers become more emotional during major sporting events. As a result, consumer scrutiny over brand’s actions during these events becomes more intense. Brands should be particularly mindful when approaching sensitive issues, such as fighting childhood hunger with goals scored by World Cup star players, as consumers are quick to boycott anything that goes against their ethics and beliefs.

Graciana Méndez
Graciana Méndez

Graciana is a Senior Regional Consumer Insights Analyst for Latin America at Mintel. She is responsible for developing research plans, analyzing consumer and market data, writing research reports on how consumer trends are evolving in the region and presenting insights to clients.

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