FIFA World Cup sponsors fail to utilise SEO in their strategy

An interesting report from Tamar hit the sport/business headlines this week, suggesting that World Cup sponsors are not adequately using search to leverage their sponsorship campaigns.


The top 6 FIFA partners (Adidas, Coca-Cola, Emirates, Hyundai, Sony & Visa) will have each paid multi-millions of dollars for the right to use the trademarks and terminology around the World Cup.


FIFA (understandably) take great measures to protect their trademarks so that they can continue to entice brands to blow their marketing budgets year in, year out, for example ‘2010’ cannot be used alongside any football imagery by non-sponsor brands.


It is really quite astounding that brands associated with the biggest event in football don’t utilise the terms they have paid millions for the right to use.

It also makes us wonder how exactly they are leveraging their sponsorship.

It should go without saying that search should not be overlooked when trying to highlight the association to consumers.


The USP of sponsorship is that consumers feel more positively towards brands when they are associated with teams/events/sports we love.

The World Cup is still 9 weeks away, but all of these partners should be well on the way with their pre-event leverage.


For example, for Adidas to really feel the benefit of being an official partner of the World Cup, they should appear amongst the top natural search results for World Cup ball, kit and boot searches.  Likewise, Sony should rank highly for any searches including World Cup and TV.  This involves detailed optimisation of websites and creation of specific landing pages, rather than just some paid search investment (increasing presence in sponsored results). 


The brands that have invested money to be associated with the world’s biggest sporting event have a great potential advantage over their competitors as excitement and related internet searches build in the lead up to the tournament, but this potential could be wasted if they are nowhere to be seen when consumers are looking for relevant content.

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