ProTip: Sports fandom and retail have always been symbiotic, but with major world sporting events, the relationship between the two grows stronger. Retailers need to look for creative ways to bring these fans into their ecosystems to provide experiences and products that celebrate their passion and fandom. (Click here to jump to the full RL Pro Analyst Take below.)
Major sporting events can boost retail sales, and FIFA World Cup 2022 — which began Nov. 20 — is one event that has international dynamism. Insightful brands with relevant merchandise have targeted their packaging and marketing efforts to coincide with one of the largest tournaments in the world.
“This is a chance to help add to the fandom with promotions, contests and more for both endemic and non-endemic brands,” he said. “There are obvious advantages for restaurants, who will be showing the games during daytime hours and [can] take advantage of many Americans’ ‘work from home’ schedule, but retailers have the opportunity to get creative with ways to tie their products into the excitement of the World Cup.”
U.S. Soccer Fan Consumers
In the U.S., soccer doesn't hold the cultural relevance that is found in many other countries, but soccer culture is growing tremendously.
“What's interesting to me when thinking about U.S. soccer fans, is that they are not only lovers of the game, but proponents, protectors — fighting for elbow room at sports bars and elevating the sport until it is just as much a part of U.S. culture as American football or basketball,” Sá said. “This offers a unique opportunity for brands and retailers to get in on the bottom floor and create relationships with this passionate fanbase before everyone else is vying for their attention. If retailers are able to connect with U.S. soccer fans early on, they have the potential to become a go-to brand for those fans — creating a lifelong relationship and brand equity."