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SBD Global/June 5, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

Advertising Battle Leaving Television, Moving Online As World Cup Aproaches

Nike's latest World Cup ad features Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo and "was seen by 78 million people in four days" before it "went to television," according to Aaron Ricadela of BLOOMBERG. Though the vast majority of fans will still watch World Cup matches on TV, the "marketing battle has gone online." Nike’s four-minute spot was released on YouTube and Facebook during an April 25 event in Madrid "showcasing the shoemaker’s latest cleat." Within hours, Ronaldo -- the most followed athlete on Twitter -- "had sent it to his 26 million followers." A shorter TV version "wasn’t broadcast until April 29." Nike Brand President Trevor Edwards said, “I’m pretty sure what I launched today will be around the world in a second.” Nike said that its TV ad buying during the World Cup "is declining" as it increasingly uses Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to reach fans in a battle with adidas "for supremacy in the global soccer-products market." Adidas "will spend more on Internet promotions than on television for this year’s World Cup: about half of its media expenditure for the tournament will go online, versus a fifth at the 2010 event in South Africa," according to CEO Herbert Hainer. Neither adidas nor Nike "would reveal how much they spend" on football advertising. Though there are no statistics that break down World Cup ad outlays, online promotions "are quickly catching TV in global expenditures." Corporations will spend about $68.5B on TV this year and $56B online, according to researcher eMarketer. In '10, TV advertising "was more than double online," eMarketer reports. Facebook Marketing Exec Carolyn Everson said, “The marketing of the World Cup has changed dramatically since 2010. Four years ago the centerpiece was television. This is going to be a mobile World Cup” (BLOOMBERG, 6/3).
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