Who Will Be The World Cup Marketing Winners?


Football's biggest tournament is currently taking place out in Russia, and with the eyes of the world keenly focused on the coverage, the marketing opportunities are massive for global brands. The 2010 and 2014 World Cups drew in an average of 3.2 billion viewers, so the opportunity for advertisers is huge and provides a chance for marketeers to get creative with the beautiful game and their brands.

We take a look at some of the companies who have performed best in showcasing their brands on football's biggest stage.


The online e-commerce company has been ever present in adverts between games and at half time breaks, with a series of clever ads jokingly updating football fans on what the biggest football stars who have not made it to this World Cup are filling their summer with. The amazon competitor has Gareth Bale giving friends Neymar-inspired hairstyles, Gianluigi Buffon turning his hand to baking and Robin Van Persie doing a spot of gardening, all with the aid of Wish's online service.

Fifa Partners and Sponsors

After the Fifa corruption scandal, there was a mass exodus of western brands who no longer wanted to be associated with the unscrupulous body which Fifa had become. This, however opened up an opportunity at this year's World Cup for companies with lesser known brands, especially from China, with Beijing-based Wanda group being especially prominent on the advertising hoardings lining the pitches of every game.

Wanda, which owns the British luxury yacht builder Sunseeker, the Hollywood studio that made Godzilla and The Hangover as well as a stake in Atlético Madrid, has signed up as a Fifa partner – the highest level of sponsorship – alongside Coca-Cola, Visa, Adidas and Russia’s Gazprom for the next four World Cups, meaning they all get the most exposure at every game.


The stories like that of a nation of only 334,252, who have become infamous for their fans 'thunderclap', making it to the World Cup and copmeting with the very best players in the world, is one of the reasons people across the world love football. Icelandair nail their telling of the Icelandic national team's ascension in world football, with nods to first Icelandic professional football player Albert Guðmundsson and Ásgeir Sigurvinsson, who is considered as one of the island's greatest players.

Kit Manufacturers

Adidas have also dominated the kits with 12 nations wearing the famous trefoil on their shirts, including current holders Germany, while Nike have outfitted 10 nations. Other manufacturers that have made it to Russia are Puma with 3 kits, New Balance with 2, and Errea, Hummel, Uhlsport and Umbro all with one. 

Nike and Adidas also share the monopoly on the most widely worn football boots at the World Cup once again, with all the star names, Ronaldo, Messi, Neymar, Kane, Ramos and Neuer sporting one of these classic sports brand's footwear. Even the referees are provisioned with Fifa Partner Adidas from head to toe.

Not to mention, both Nike and Adidas have released adverts too, with Nike issuing a wonderful advert showcasing Brazil's love of football, with a great tribute to a past advert featuring the Brazilian Ronaldo thrown in for good measure.


Which brands will benefit most from this world cup will remain to be seen, but it provides a brilliant space for companies to get creative and do some really exciting things with their marketing. Enjoy the rest of your World Cup!


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Frank Stannard

Creative Director