Snippets from ground level
A survey conducted by GlobalWebIndex, the results of which were issued this week, showed that 38% of consumers in the UK, USA and Brazil believed MasterCard to be a World Cup sponsor, even though rival Visa is the actual credit card partner, and only had 42% recognition.
Beer brand Budweiser has taken over a five-star hotel in Rio de Janeiro during the World Cup along the iconic Copacabana Beach. For four weeks, Copacabana landmark, the Pestana Rio Atlantica, is carrying the Budweiser banner in a major marketing campaign. Outside, a giant inflatable beer bottle bobs around in the wind and alongside it is a Mini Cooper, swathed in Budweiser logos. Of course, the Budweiser Hotel is not for ordinary football fans, rather for a privileged set who are somehow FIFA or Budweiser affiliated.
With hotel prices proving out of reach of many visiting fans, especially those who have trekked across the borders from neighbouring countries, hundreds of fans have opted to camp out on the beaches of Rio during the tournament. Many fans have travelled thousands of miles from neighbouring countries by bus or car to get to Brazil, often without for the soccer tickets or reservations. They just want to be there, experience the event, create a story for life.
There are 12 FIFA fan fest locations around the country, in iconic settings such as the Farol de Barra in Salvador, Iracema Beach in Fortaleza and, of course, on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro. Hadley Freeman writing in The Guardian, described the fan fests as “a festival with all the worst things of a festival, and some football: gigantic adverts for precious corporate sponsors are everywhere and, while entrance is free, the miles and miles of FIFA-branded tat on sale is certainly not, ranging from R$30 (£7.90) face paint to R$480 (£126) bottles of FIFA wine. It all adds nicely to the untaxed billions FIFA will gleefully reap in Brazil, as they squat in the country like a greedy bullfrog on a lilypad.”
How does it feel in Brazil…?
How does Brazil, how do Brazilians, feel about the incessant hectoring they received from FIFA, IOC and the global media? Some would be pee’d off, I’m sure. There can be little doubt that the Brazil government did not appreciate just how demanding and difficult it would be to stage two major international sporting events within 2 years…two events it set out to capture.
Some Brazilians really are the country’s worst nightmare. There has been a lot of interference and corruption in the Cup, in projects and in the sport of football.
Joana Havelange chided demonstrators calling for some of that money to be redirected toward health, education and transport, telling them they were too late.
The business of tech and social media
The World Cup has become the most streamed live sporting event in the US, as Americans tune in to this year’s tournament on their smartphones, tablets and computers in record numbers.
US viewers had until 3-4 days ago watched nearly 30 million hours of video streaming on ESPN’s World Cup website and apps, the network said, beating the previous record 20.4 million hours during NBC’s 2012 Olympics coverage. Univision has streamed 1.5 million hours during the tournament.
FIFA said that its ‘Global Stadium’, the social, online and mobile hub for World Cup matches on the federation’s official website, had attracted 230 million users by the end of the group stage. An average of 62 minutes per fan was spent on FIFA’s official app. There were 20 million downloads in 26 days.
Facebook has seen more than 1billion posts, likes and comments since the tournament started, making it the most talked about event in the social network’s history. The World Cup has been mentioned 20m times on Twitter, according to data collected by Brandwatch, a social analytics group, and FGV, a Brazilian think-tank.
A Pew Research Center poll found interest in the World Cup was highest among Americans aged 18 to 29 – a cohort that has a high rate of smartphone ownership. Nearly one in four of that age group said they were following the tournament closely, compared with 17% of 30-to-49-year-olds and 16% of 50-to-64-year-olds.