Real-time marketing will be battleground for brands in 2014 World Cup, says Castrol global sponsorship manager

Real-time marketing around the upcoming 2014 World Cup will bring out the most fierce competition between brands, according to Paul Goodmaker, global sponsorship communications manager at Castrol.

Castrol’s ‘Footkhana’ ad, featuring brand ambassador and Brazilian football star Neymar Jr in a battle of skills with rally driver Ken Block, is the most-shared social video from a sponsor so far, according to figures from Unruly.

The automotive oil and lubricant brand until recently boasted it had the most shared World Cup video of all, but it has since been pipped into third place by Nike and Samsung. According to Goodmaker, the release of the video was deliberately timed to beat the release of such big brand rivals and make an early impact.

“That was our big digital activation and we deliberately set out to in and grab the headlines before any other brands activated,” Goodmaker told The Drum. “We achieved what we set out to do there.”

For Goodmaker, timing will be everything in this year’s World Cup and Castrol’s pre-planned activations will assist the brand in making as much use of real-time marketing as possible.

“We have two main activations during the tournament,” he continued. “One is the Castrol Index, which is something that we’ve run across all our football sponsorships since Euro 2008. Essentially we do data analysis for the best football players in the tournament; we have tracking and technology at all of the stadiums as well as a team of performance analysts that measure every single pass, tackle and touch of the ball.

“They will assess the impact that has on the team’s chance of scoring or preventing a goal, and we crunch all of that data and end up with a Castrol Index score out of 10 for their performance in the tournament. We end up with a performance ranking of players and that will be updated after each round during the tournament.”

The Castrol Index is the official performance ranking of the tournament and the brand will have a space on the Fifa.com website. It will also be marketed through Fifa’s social channels as well as Castrol’s.

The brand’s second activation is another link up with Fifa in the form of a predictions game that users’ can take part in throughout the tournament for the chance to win prizes. The activity builds on a pre-existing relationship between Castrol and Fifa.

“We worked with Fifa in 2010 and 2012 and we’ve essentially taken the learnings from what we did then and applied them to 2014,” he said. “Obviously the media landscape’s evolved but we’ve taken that on board and believe we’ve got an even more compelling product that will engage people during the tournament.

“I see a big change from a real-time marketing perspective,” he went on. “That has an obvious importance for a sports event. I do think that’s one of the big changes and certainly it’s something we’ll look to do, particularly on Twitter we feel that’s probably the best platform for us to engage with people in real-time, as goals are scored.

“It’s going to be competitive out there with lots of brands trying to own different elements of the tournament.”

Castrol has enlisted Mindshare, its global media agency, to manage the brand’s social community during the event as well as paid media, and further support will come from M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment.

The brand will also continue to capitalise on the success of the Footkhana video – created with agency Earn - in the run up to and during the tournament with the release of fresh content.

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