AFPOranje cheers after a goal by Brugts against Vietnam
NOS Nieuws•vandaag, 17:45
After three group matches, the Orange squad will convincingly advance to the round of 16 of the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand as group winner. The viewing figures show that the World Cup is alive, but marketers think that there is still room for more Oranjekoorts in the further course of the tournament.
One way to gauge that is by looking at companies’ advertising campaigns. There was no storm before the start of the tournament: a tour of the ANP news agency showed that advertisers preferred other tournaments. Only KNVB main sponsor ING launched a campaign on television and social media. KPN and Albert Heijn decided to only serve social media, while Lidl, Jumbo and Heineken did not invest any money at all in special advertisements around the World Cup.
“At the moment we do not see any clear changes,” says a spokesperson for De Ster, which sells advertising space around the competitions. “The eighth final will be broadcast at a somewhat less favorable time. It is of course possible that if the Dutch national team continues to have success, more brands want to be visible around the matches.”
She points to the World Cup in 2019, when the Orange reached the final. “In 2019 we saw that the further Orange came, the more it came to life with brands. It is important that these matches were broadcast on primetime.”
‘No hype yet’
“The hype at the major tournaments often starts late, both among men and women,” says sports marketer Guido Klomp. “Now we see it slowing down a bit because it’s on the other side of the world and the broadcast times are disadvantageous.” As a result, sponsors are less keen and there is less attention in the form of advertising campaigns on TV. Moreover, the tournament takes place in the middle of summer, when many people are on vacation.
Still, the viewing figures are above expectations, especially given the broadcast times. “Women’s football is getting bigger and a lot of people are watching, but marketers mainly look at the commercial target group: for example, do people go to the store to collect pictures of players? That target group is not yet considered large enough.”
Viewing figures for group matches
Netherlands-Portugal (Sunday, July 23 at 9:30 AM): 1,489,000United States-Netherlands (Thursday, July 27 at 3:00 AM): 381,000Vietnam-Netherlands (Monday, August 1 at 9:00 AM): 1,181,000
*Streams via the internet are not included
Does marketing make the sport popular, or does marketing tap into a popular sport? According to the marketer, it is a chicken-and-egg story. “The acceleration that women’s football is going through now is reinforced by the marketing around it. The World Cup is sponsored by more companies than ever and the prize money is higher than ever. You would wish the sport for marketers to blow extra wind in its sails, but the interests are huge with sponsors such as supermarkets, they run great risks with such a campaign.”
Klomp expects that the commercial target group will be large enough for subsequent tournaments. “Marketers know that women’s football is on the rise, but they could not have imagined that hundreds of thousands of people are watching at night.”
The Ster spokesman also expects that the good viewing figures will set something in motion. “This large reach makes it attractive for brands to be visible around this. In addition, the semi-finals and finals are broadcast at more favorable times. If the Dutch team gets that far, we expect interest to increase.”
She states that the media also play an important role in this. “The entire amount of media attention for the tournament, for example through talk shows, can increase the number of people watching, which in turn makes it more attractive for brands to use advertisements.”
‘Having an eye for good developments’
Sports marketeer Klomp points to the backlog that women still have. “The first men’s World Cup was in 1930, the first women’s tournament in 1991, so the women have to catch up and they are working on that. The upcoming final rounds for the women can be given the same status as that of the men, with major actions in advance. We must above all keep an eye on the good developments.”
The Orange will therefore have to go far in the tournament if it wants to play at ‘normal’ Dutch times again: the eighth final against South Africa is scheduled for Sunday at 4 a.m. o’clock. Only in a possible semi-final (August 15 at 10 a.m.) and final (August 20 at 12 a.m.) can the matches be viewed on TV again during the day.