World Cup excitement outside the stadiums
Posted on 2023 Jan,05  | By Elias Wakim

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Elias Wakim, General Manager at Promofix GCC, the digital arm of JGroup, recalls how his team accompanied sponsors and advertisers during the World Cup and how they successfully managed to plan and optimize brands’ omni-channel digital marketing strategy.

Now that the World Cup has ended, we can confidently say that sports in our region is developing rapidly. The performances of the Saudi and Moroccan teams exceeded expectations and demonstrate that we have teams that can compete and win against international teams in the short term. The organization of the event, specifically at the stadiums and in the fan zones, set new standards and it is worth noting the efforts of Qatar in coordinating such synchronized activities.

However, the challenge was not limited to the stadiums, but also included engaging advertisers and sponsors for the event, leveraging an integrated media approach that linked linear TV with digital to better understand the audience and retarget them in the future. Our team began pitching to sponsors and advertisers as early as October and despite initial skepticism, we achieved more than 80% of revenue five months before the World Cup. We are proud to share that together with our team, we reached the highest revenue in the history of World Cups in the region.

Starting in January, our Promofix team employed a different approach that kept the match on TV as the centerpiece, but also utilized digital tools to allow advertisers to better understand the audience and retarget them later on, using Blis TV sync technology. This allowed brands to more effectively reach their target audience. It was a logical choice to prioritize global sponsors, and we were able to secure most of them through a commercially and strategically sound approach. Our close relationship with the channel also allowed us to serve the brands’ strategic objectives and customize packages based on customer needs.

With the support of analysis and data from TV and digital channels, we were able to attract non-conventional advertisers and secure a few of them, with more in the pipeline. Additionally, our approach allowed us to commit to brands on viewership numbers and performance KPIs such as app installs or transactions, capitalizing on TV as an awareness tool and supported by digital tools.

In the last month before the World Cup, we closed more than 90% of all budgets and achieved the highest figures from brands ever spent on a World Cup. We are confident that we could have reached even more if Egypt had qualified for the World Cup.

The opening ceremony, along with the lineup of advertisers on TV, was spectacular. Furthermore, the 22-minute advertising break before Saudi Arabia beat Argentina was a first on beIN and we are proud of that achievement. Throughout the event, we received reports from international channels stating they were unable to fill breaks, but this did not discourage us, instead it served as an incentive to do better and offer creative tools to measure the effectiveness of campaigns. Some key takeaways from our experience include:

  • An integrated approach, with technology at its core, is essential for the success of a campaign.
  • Combining appropriate digital tools with a TV campaign leads to increased consideration and conversion.
  • Commitment to advertisers on deliveries, supported by digital tools, is crucial.
  • Success is only achieved with preparation, and preparation time is more important than execution time.
  • Teamwork and smart incentives are crucial.
  • Internal communication and working closely with content providers are key elements for success, as we are not working in silos, but as part of a holistic ecosystem.

In conclusion, success is only possible by taking smart risks, committing to deliveries and engagement, and having a comprehensive approach. The journey was not always easy, as we faced many challenges and rumors, but we ultimately succeeded. A big thank you to our team, as you have created some great stories of achievement.