New performance era: Webrepublic orchestrates marketing for Fifa Football World Cup

The Fifa World Cup is the biggest sporting event in the world: For the second time in a row, Webrepublic was responsible for the digital marketing surrounding the major event. The Zurich agency steered the complex communication initiative from Switzerland to the whole world.

With 3.4 million spectators on site and millions more around the globe, the World Cup is the biggest sporting event in the world. The final match between Argentina and France in December 2022 alone was watched by around 1.5 billion people. The tournament thus offers sponsors a unique opportunity to present themselves.

For the second time, Webrepublic orchestrated Fifa's communication initiatives in collaboration with the ten largest sponsors around the international tournament in Qatar. Two dozen marketing specialists and sports enthusiasts from Webrepublic launched and managed 60 global campaigns during the hot five weeks. Around 2.5 billion impressions and 700 million commercial video views were generated. By comparison, during Super Bowl week 2022, the NFL generated 1.8 billion impressions and just over 600 million video views on its social media channels.

"Our team developed the campaigns and played them out and optimized them globally in 'real time' - these are key success factors for brands," says Tom Hanan, founder and CEO of Webrepublic. "This was only possible because we employ specialists in-house for all digital marketing disciplines who have in-depth technical know-how and speak ten languages."

New era in sponsorship with performance marketing approach

The Webrepublic team "Rawr", specialized in sponsorship and sports marketing is convinced that a new era has begun in sponsorship. Brands have become more demanding, they want to get closer to the fans - traditional logo exposure and awareness during the event alone are neither sufficient nor up to date.

That's why Webrepublic has chosen a new approach that combines sponsorship and performance marketing. What is needed are holistic communication strategies that are independent of time and place, and that work across all channels. "It's no longer about generating as many impressions as possible. Our task is to optimize all campaigns for more complex goals such as engagements, website visits or conversions and to combine them with exciting storytelling," says Alexander Riggers, Head of Growth & Innovation at Rawr.

Campaign highlights around the Fifa World Cup 2022

Three campaigns will be used to illustrate what the integrated approach of sponsorship and performance marketing looks like in practice. Hyundai used the attention of the World Cup to make a contribution to sustainability. For this, Webrepublic developed a gamified application to educate fans about their environmental impact, encourage direct action and interact with the brand. The campaign achieved seven times higher exposure than expected. It also generated great engagement from fans, who shared videos and photos of their sustainable pledges in action on social media, demonstrating their support for the message.

For, Webrepublic activated football fans via sponsored content: In the first step, footage from the Fifa archive generated brand awareness. Subsequently, fans could cash out their earned winnings in Bitcoin in the Crypto Playzone. The performance campaign for a sweepstake simultaneously increased the download of the Crypto app.

In addition to gamification, another trend around events like the World Cup is festivalization: To promote the Fifa Fan Festivals in the host cities and drive traffic to the registration and ticket pages, Webrepublic activated over 90 creative elements in the Fifa+ inventory, on social media and in Google search ads. The result: festivals in eight cities worldwide, with over 1.8 million visitors in Doha alone.

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