- Nike.com and Fanatics.com dominated U.S. search terms around purchasing an England national team jersey, according to findings of a study of U.S. search activities during the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The study by AI search intelligence platform Adthena was provided to Marketing Dive.
- Nike maintained a 50% market share, and Fanatics.com beat Amazon on the term "England kit" with a high of 45% and low of 28%, compared to 30% and 5%, respectively, for Amazon.
- Fubo.tv dominated on the search phrase "Where can I watch the World Cup," hitting a high of 53% on June 26 and keeping a lead over Hulu.com for most of the event. Stubhub.com was the leader for the term "World Cup tickets," maintaining 55% of the market share. However, Vigagogo.com periodically surpassed Stubhub, gaining its highest share on July 9 with 64%.
As the Adthena analysis reveals, the main World Cup-related search terms revolved around team gear, travel information and how to stream games. As search marketing is on the rise, marketers should take note of the findings to inform future campaigns. Search ads remain one of the top digital ad formats at 42%, according to Zenith data cited by Recode, and search is expected to reach $95 billion this year.
Nike, as manufacturer of the England jersey, led a heavy search campaign around the team jersey, which seems to have paid off, as the company beat out Amazon and others around the search teams. England’s national team was also especially popular during this year’s World Cup, with the team making it to the semifinals for the first time since 1990 and coming in fourth place overall. This likely explains the interest in team gear.
Another key search term surrounded how to stream the World Cup games. With the tournament hosted by Russian, many of the games had early-morning weekday air times in the U.S., when most people are at work or commuting. This led many viewers to look for ways to live stream matches. Recent Interactive Advertising Bureau research found that 65% of global consumers who have live streamed content planned to live stream soccer games during the World Cup, compared to 71% who planned to watch on linear TV.
An Ace Metrix analysis of World Cup ads found that soccer marketing hasn’t quite caught on in the U.S., despite the sport being more popular than in years past. Ad effectiveness, average attention and likeability were the lowest for World Cup ads compared to ads for the 2018 Super Bowl and Winter Olympics.