The 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia kicked off last Thursday in Moscow, with billions of people expected to watch football’s superstars play for national pride in the world’s most prestigious tournament. It is the most lucrative football event, opening doors for businesses to penetrate foreign markets and create international business opportunities. This is most evident as we are seeing TV adverts for Chinese scooters (Yadae), Mongolia milk (Mengniu) and smartphones (VIVO) along with Visa and Budweiser.
In addition to the official partnership with FIFA, local brands, including Malaysian businesses, are also affiliating with the World Cup to help spearhead their products or brands in the market through increased promotions and collaborations during the event. No doubt, this is an opportunity to grow brand-awareness, solidify brand loyalty and generate positive associations and conversations among sports fans.
Of course, this is only possible if the companies are able to leverage their brand beyond traditional applications or get really creative with advertising. For that, they will be rewarded with stronger brand recognition and, more importantly, positive feelings towards the brand.
Here we take a look at the unique ways some Malaysian businesses are cleverly aligning their brands to win over the FIFA World Cup fans:
One of the best known Malaysian businesses. It was recently announced by Communications & Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo that Maxis and AirAsia are the sponsors for RTM’s live telecasts of FIFA World Cup. The platinum sponsor, Maxis, sponsored a total of RM 18 million whereas the gold sponsor, AirAsia, sponsored a total of RM12 million, which makes up the entire RM30 million the Ministry needs to air the coverage of the main event in Russia. AirAsia has also set aside 54 flight tickets for sports fans to stand a chance to win in a contest held throughout the tournament. On the other hand, both Maxis and Hotlink customers can purchase Astro World Cup match passes at a discounted rate, and data used to stream the game will be complimentary.
The Bola Raya game created by the leading communications service provider not only connects with the sports fans but is looping in family members with this fun mobile application. The “first-of-its-kind” baju raya doubles as a football jersey using augmented reality. With it, you can scan an image of yourself and tap to change your AR jersey. It also has a family mode, so all your family members get to don AR jerseys. There are also frames and stickers to decorate and add fun to your Raya pictures and videos. The final product makes a great greeting card for you share with family and friends.
Nivea Men & FCB KL
How can Malaysians be part of the world-class football action? Nivea Men presents its new campaign “the World Class Line Up Challenge”. In collaboration with FCB Kuala Lumpur, Beiersdorf’s creative agency, a dedicated fantasy football website has been created for users to pick their favourite footballers from all 32 countries. The points are based on real-time matches, which makes it unpredictable and exciting as the tournament itself. Participants also get additional points when they purchase any Nivea Men products. Users who score the highest points each week stand a chance to win prizes such as FujiFilm Mirrorless Cameras, Ray-Ban shades, Bose Speakers, and Harley Davidson Accessories. This is the perfect example of Malaysian businesses working together.
Standard Chartered Bank
You can now be rewarded with exciting prizes including the opportunity to watch the 2018 FIFA World Cup when you invest with Standard Chartered Bank. With a minimum of RM50,000 from now till 30th June 2018, you’re entitled to two tickets to watch the World Cup Final at GSC Pavilion KL as well as premium merchandise. Of course, the more you invest, the more returns you get, and we’re talking VIVO X21 mobile phone or even an all-expense paid Business Class trip to Moscow, Russia (6 nights) to watch the final tournament on 15 July 2018.
Your local mamak restaurant, McDonald’s or bar
Most people would agree that watching a football game on a small screen, alone, isn’t the best way to enjoy the match. So, it’s not a surprise to know that most Malaysian football fans spend their weekend evening gathered to watch the game at their local mamak restaurant. McDonald’s, which is an official partner of FIFA World Cup, is also a great option as the outlets would air live football matches as well. This would also mean the Rio Burger is back. For this season, the brand has taken its beloved fries to the next level by introducing the perfect-for-sharing Mega Fries. If you want something more, you can also opt for its FAN Bundles, which includes its famous Spicy Chicken and crispy chicken nuggets. Though the atmosphere is not quite the same as watching at a local bar, mamak restaurant or other F&B Malaysian businesses, watching matches here can be a lot more comfortable. The food is relatively cheap, and the screen is huge. What’s more, they are surrounded by liked minded people.
So, how can everyday businesses and brands take advantage of what’s happening around the world? Beyond creating window display around major events like the World Cup, retailers and service providers with brick-and-mortar presence can host their own celebrations in their place of business. Another option is to partner with neighbouring businesses to take advantage of more marketing outreach efforts.
Check the days of the year calendar to find festivals that make the most sense for business, and craft a marketing campaign around it. Be creative with these celebrations. Every day won’t make sense for every business, but there is definitely an event or celebration that can work for you.