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Budweiser?s innovative Twitter voting scales up World Cup sponsorship

Budweiser is leveraging a new Twitter voting mechanism as part of its 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil promotion, enabling fans to view side-by-side player photos before casting their vote for each game?s top athlete.

The 2014 FIFA Man Of The Match is sponsored by Budweiser, with the winner determined by fans, who can cast their votes on or by tapping the #ManoftheMatch Tweet from @FIFAcom to display a custom Twitter Card featuring the side-by-side player photos. The program marks the first time FIFA World Cup fans have had the opportunity for social media live voting and is a pivot away from a mobile application offered by Budweiser last year that was integrated with Facebook for tournament voting.

?Live events are proving to be a boon for engaging with audiences, in real time, through Twitter,? said Doug Chavez, global head of marketing research and content for Kenshoo. ?Budweiser is smart to tap into Twitter?s massive reach for live events and especially the global stage of passionate football fans, soccer for those of in the U.S.

?Look no further than what Ellen DeGeneres did at The Oscars for Samsung with a selfie - that became the most retweeted selfie in history - within a matter of hours,? he said. ?Amplify, Twitter?s offering for connecting brands with consumers in real-time, is perfect for Budweiser?s dual screen World Cup sponsorship.

?If Twitter?s scale of engagement for voting is anywhere near what Amplify has achieved for other live events, I?m sure Budweiser and Twitter will have some great voting stats to share that will make American Idol and any of the other reality programs voting records look small in comparison. I can?t help but think the voting card experience will be similar to the fun and addictive voting, a la swiping, experience on Tinder.?

Mr. Chavez is not affiliated with Budweiser and spoke based on his experience in mobile.

Budweiser did not respond to press inquiries.

Closer to the game
It makes sense for Budweiser to leverage Twitter to activate its sponsorship of the 2014 FIFA World Cup as fans and attendees for major live events increasingly looking to the platform to engage in real-time with related content. With much of this activity happening from a mobile device, it is key for marketers such as Budweiser to make sure such activations work seamlessly on mobile.

In the case of the Twitter voting for the Man of the Match, fans are able to tap the #ManoftheMatch Tweet from either a desktop or mobile device. Users who tap one of the photos to vote will automatically generate a Tweet with their selection.

Budweiser is further driving reach for the program with voting available in six languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German and Arabic.

By sponsoring the contest and enabling the mobile social portion of it, Budweiser is helping to bring football fans closer to the game.

Generating traction
Voting for the FIFA Man Of The Match begins at the start of the second half of every match and closes at the final whistle. The tournament recognizes the top player who had the most significant impact or influence on his team's performance.

Last year, Budweiser offered the FIFA Man of the Match app to enable fans to vote for their favorite player. The app synced to a Facebook account and let users view current matches (see story).

The Man of the Match tournament is just one element of the Budweiser?s sponsorship activity for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Additionally, the brand this week opened the doors of its Budweiser Hotel by Pestana at Copacabana Beach, where the brand will host concerts, parties and special appearances by former FIFA World Cup players as well as celebrities.

In March, Budweiser launched the ?Rise As One? integrated campaign to promote its 2014 FIFA World Cup sponsorship.

?Since the FIFA World Cup is a global event, it's an ideal opportunity for Budweiser to test this strategy on Twitter, which has a large international user base,? said Jay Hawkinson, Chicago-based senior vice president of emerging products for SIM Partners. ?The results from this can help Anheuser-Busch refine the method for future promotions.

?Also it's a fairly easy promotion to administer that requires very little from users yet could generate a lot of traction for Budweiser,? he said.

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York