Game Changer: 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ Goes Mobile

March 12, 2018 Author: Mario X. Carrasco

Reaching and Connecting with U.S. Hispanic Affinity Soccer Fans on Facebook and Instagram

There are less than 100 days before the start of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ and U.S. Hispanic fans are gearing up to be part of the action. Our new national consumer survey, ThinkNow Research: Hispanic Soccer Fan Study, found that 89% of U.S. Hispanics intend to watch the World Cup and they’re looking to engage online and on the go.

What Makes an Avid Fan?

U.S. Hispanics self-identify more as avid soccer fans 22% vs. 11% non-Hispanic and less likely to be casual fans. As avid fans, they watch prequalifying matches (65%), consider watching World Cup games as an occasion for family to get together (68%) and look forward to it every four years (67%).

U.S. Hispanics are considerably more engaged around soccer activities online in the past three months including:

  • Watching soccer highlights online 52% vs. 36% non-Hispanic
  • Checking soccer scores online 44% vs. 30% non-Hispanic
  • Talking about soccer matches offline 40% vs. 33% non-Hispanic
  • Read soccer content (articles about players, teams etc.) 38% vs. 26% non- Hispanic

The World Cup is also an opportunity for U.S. Hispanics to honor their culture with more than half (57%) seeing the games as a chance to reconnect with their heritage.

Watching the World Cup on the Go

Fans are watching soccer increasingly on the go. U.S. Hispanics over-index in the use of computers and mobile devices when following soccer. In the past, the World Cup was watched on live TV or recorded to watch later. Now, the trend is to watch the World Cup on TV, computer, smart phone and tablet.

The 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ live games will prompt fans to watch on-demand or streaming due to the time zones differences. Almost one-third (29%) of U.S. Hispanics plan to record matches and watch later and 22% plan to stream online when possible.

The World’s Largest Online Stadium

Globally, soccer is the most popular sport on Facebook and Instagram with three times more followers than any other sport. In addition, the 2014 World Cup final was the most talked about sporting event in Facebook history—generating 3 billion posts, comments and likes from avid soccer fans around the world, according to the company.

There is every indication that 2018 is going to be even bigger. Two-thirds (66%) of U.S. Hispanic fans say that interacting with others on social media makes the World Cup experience more enjoyable.

Fútbol is streaming on Facebook this year including 46 Liga MX games through Univision Deportes. The passionate community of soccer fans will watch, share, talk about and react to exciting leagues—all in one platform.

Marketers: Think Like an Insider

There is a new playbook for marketers and advertisers who look to engage with avid soccer fans during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™. Facebook and Instagram soccer coverage starts where traditional media coverage stops. It’s been reported that 94% of sports fans on Instagram use the platform to see the personal side of athletes.

As we’ve seen with recent Olympic coverage and reported by Campaign Magazine, “Fans want to be closer to the action, to the athletes…They want the insider’s view. As a result, generating constant, captivating, exclusive content has become a modern marketer’s priority.”

Key insights for marketers and advertisers to breakthrough during the World Cup:

  • Start with measurement: The World Cup only happens every four years. What are your goals for engagement? Align your media with business objectives.
  • Be ready when they are: U.S. Hispanics equally will watch live and record to watch later.
  • Time zone difference: Make sure your content is top of mind when fans are craving updates after an overnight match.

Download our detailed report here:

Download this study.