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US World Cup Games

By Karsh Hagan | 

US World Cup Games

It’s no secret that every February the Super Bowl is, well, the Super Bowl of advertising platforms. But what about the other fútbol? In America, soccer games haven’t typically been the place to gain exposure…until now.

24.7 million people watched the United States face Portugal in the World Cup, more than any of the five NBA Finals games, which overall averaged 15.5 million viewers, and the same amount that watched the 2010 World Cup Final. This also crushes the number of average viewers during the 2013 World Series between Boston and St. Louis: 10 million. Not far behind is the United States’ last World Cup game against Belgium, drawing 21.2 million viewers, despite taking place at 4p edt on a Tuesday.


So what does this mean for advertising? Finally, the United States had a team that people were excited to watch, and the minimal time differences in Brazil meant games would be on during more accessible times than the 2010 tournament in South Africa. Many iconic companies like Nike, Beats by Dre, and McDonald’s have released multiple-minute long commercials on YouTube, with the shorter versions running on TV. With a commercial break only during halftime for soccer games, companies lean into social and extend the content – and it’s working out well. Nike, which always has a special World Cup edition spot, has gotten over 84+ million views on YouTube for their ad, “Winner Stays.” This more than doubles Adidas’ most popular World Cup ad featuring Lionel Messi titled, “All In or Nothing,” which has racked up 37.2 million views. Nike also has the second most popular YouTube vid with 59.7 million views on its “Last Game” ad, and Adidas is in fourth with its second ad, “House Match” featuring David Beckham. Car companies Kia and Hyundai released ads garnering 8.6 million and 4 million views, respectively. Ads from Beats and McDonald’s round out the list with 8.9 million and 5.4 million views.

The World Cup has always been a big deal, but it’s now monumental in the United States. Karsh Hagan Associate Media Director Dave Moorehouse sees it as a great opportunity for future advertising.

“In 2018, people will actually be looking forward to the World Cup,” he said. “Soccer is kind of that up and coming challenger brand, and a lot of companies will be hitching their wagons to it as they are seeing growth in attendance and TV ratings.”


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