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Smartphones to Play Major Role in 2014 World Cup According to Groundbreaking Global Research From IAB

Smartphone-owning soccer fans across the globe expect their mobile devices to take on a pivotal role when it comes to their FIFA World Cup 2014 experience, according to “2014 World Cup: A Global Mobile Perspective,” a landmark international study from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). Querying sports enthusiasts from 11 markets – Australia, Brazil, China, Colombia, France, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico and the United Kingdom, as well as the United States – who have smartphones and plan to follow the tournament, the survey reveals that 48 percent overall plan to use their phones to follow the World Cup, second only to TV (63%) when it comes to media channels for keeping up with the game.

Spotlighting a strong opportunity to reach these soccer/football fans through mobile marketing, the research shows that 37 percent are already positively interacting with mobile ads on a daily basis. Moreover, respondents that self-identify as a “football fanatic” – saying that they watch or follow as much soccer as possible, no matter the team, league or country – are even more likely to click on or engage with mobile ads at least once a day (50%).

Signs point to mobile video being a major driver of mobile use, and a potential revenue stream as well, with more than two-thirds (68%) willing to pay for video of game-related content on their phones. In addition, 66 percent expect to share their excitement surrounding the tournament via social media through their smartphones.

The study also demonstrates the importance of dual-screening on television and mobile devices, with 35 percent of fans surveyed anticipating that they will be turning to their mobile phones for game-related activities throughout watching the game on TV.

“Smartphones will not remain on the sidelines at this year’s World Cup,” said Anna Bager, Vice President and General Manager, Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, IAB. “This study highlights that sporting fans around the world are already open to mobile marketing and are keen to leverage their phones as part of their experience of the game. There is no question that this opens up the door for brands to reach a valuable audience through mobile just as the entire globe is about to be transfixed by one of the most anticipated sporting events of the year.”

When it comes to mobile advertising capturing their attention during the World Cup, respondents cite fun and entertaining creative as being of the utmost importance (33%). The relevancy of the product advertised is a distant second (17%), followed by ads featuring their country’s team (16%). Trailing further behind are ads spotlighting a great moment from previous World Cup matches (14%), those featuring an athlete they like (11%), and ads from official World Cup sponsors (10%).

The research also uncovers key national differences on the World Cup fan playing field:

  • Football fandom is strongest in Italy, where 70 percent of respondents state they are dedicated soccer fans, followed by Ireland (60%) and Colombia (58%)
  • Host country Brazil has the most fans (86%) devoted to watching all or as much of the World Cup as possible, and shows the highest propensity for sharing their excitement about the game on mobile devices (45%)
  • The greatest number of consumers plan to stream matches on mobile phones in China (49%), Mexico (35%) and the U.K. (31%)
  • Sports enthusiasts in the U.K. (80%), Mexico (78%) and Colombia (74%) are significantly more willing to pay for mobile video World Cup content

To download the complete “2014 World Cup: A Global Mobile Perspective,” please visit iab.net/worldcup.

Methodology

A 20-question survey was designed and fielded by OnDevice Research in 11 markets (Australia, Brazil, China, Colombia, France, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, U.K. and U.S.). In each country 500 consumers who were 18-plus, owned or had access to a smartphone, follow football and plan to follow the World Cup were interviewed via their mobile device. All respondents were asked the same questions, with fieldwork taking place from April 22 – May 12, 2014.

In addition to IAB in the U.S., nine global IABs participated in the study: IAB Australia, IAB Brazil, IAB China, IAB Colombia, IAB France, IAB Ireland, IAB Italy, IAB Mexico and IAB U.K. The D.A. Consortium, a Japanese organization that provides leading advertising solutions to agencies, advertisers and publishers, also took part in the research.

About the IAB

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is comprised of more than 600 leading media and technology companies that are responsible for selling 86% of online advertising in the United States. The IAB empowers the media and marketing industries to thrive in the digital economy. The organization educates marketers, agencies, media companies and the wider business community about the value of interactive advertising. Working with its member companies, the IAB evaluates and recommends standards and practices and fields critical research on interactive advertising. Founded in 1996, the IAB is headquartered in New York City with a Public Policy office in Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit iab.net.

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