World Cup boosts global ad revenue by $2.4bn - China to outspend US by 500%

UK World Cup broadcaster ITV's ad

The World Cup is repeatedly touted as a global event that will reach as many as 3.2bn people through its run. Brands looking to grab hold of this audience will reportedly boost global advertising spend by $2.4bn. This is despite the absence of some of the world's biggest economic powerhouses from the competition like the US and China.

Research from Zenith found that despite great interest in the tournament in Russia, some major economies will not be going all in with their ad spend. In particular, it noted that the absent US, a global adspend leader will contribute only 0.2% of total annual expenditure this year.

The study marked new spend that otherwise would not have been allocated in the absence of the tournament. It notes some geographical nuances in spend.

In the UK, the World Cup will add an extra £40m to ad expenditure in 2018. Research released by Oath last month found that only 1% of Brits said they were likely to buy into a brand supporting the World Cup.

The tournament is likely to boost print sales and will carry a swelling effect for ad spend there too. On the broadcaster front, the BBC and ITV will split coverage. The publicly funded BBC will not run any ads so there will be no boost there.

40% of the competition's potential audience will be asleep when games are played. As a result, research noted that people will look for alternative ways to watch the games, including video on demand platforms and clips on social media - which carry their own advertising opportunities.

Host nation Russia will experience a $64m boost to ad spend, accounting for 2.1% of all Russian advertising expenditure in 2018. Meanwhile the biggest increase will come from China. It will contribute $835m in extra adspend, or 1.0% of the entire ad market in response to the World Cup.

Jonathan Barnard, Zenith’s head of forecasting and director of global intelligence, said: “The World Cup provides a reliable boost to the global ad market every four years, and will be responsible for 10% of all the growth in ad dollars this year,” said

"This year’s tournament will showcase the brand-building powers of both traditional television and social media.”

Mark Howley, chief executive officer Zenith UK, added: The World Cup has always had a huge impact on the global and UK advertising market, which is why we expect it to boost UK adspend by £40m.

"Digital adspend in the UK will benefit from one of the biggest proportionate increases in the world, which is a reflection of our changing media consumption as a nation. Albeit, the biggest single factor influencing the accuracy of this forecast is the hardest to predict; how long England last in the tournament.”

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