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On Tuesday 11th July, England played in the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup for the first time in 28 years, for many including myself this was the first time in our life time. 

A month ago, no one knew how proud the England Football team would make the nation. They surprised everyone by securing a position as one of the top four countries in the tournament, giving the crowds that came flocking to watch the games a summer to remember. The team created a British dream that was so close it almost became a reality.

The British public pulled together, drinking, singing and strongly believing that it was truly ‘coming home’. Despite it not ‘coming home’ we have learnt from this World Cup that we are a proud nation and that those young men created the best British Summer in years.

The beautiful sunny weather and the copious amounts of alcohol may have also had something to do with it, not that the shops were complaining as beer, barbecues and big-screen TV sales hit the roof.

The World Cup offers the opportunity for people to come together, from across the globe. As one of the biggest events in the world, it gives some of the biggest and strongest brands the chance to exploit new opportunities for their business through sponsorship.

The sponsors upped their game and were bigger and better than ever. One of the campaigns that really stood out for me was Qatar Airways. Now the official FIFA airline, and with Qatar hosting the Games in 2022, Qatar Airways are the state-owned flag carrier of the country, but we won’t get in the politics of football right now as that’s a whole other ‘ball’ game.

The Qatar Airways campaign stood out to me for several reasons. First, the advertisement highlighted the luxury their incredible planes can offer. It also included singer, Nicole Scherzinger, as the centre piece towards the end of the advert. The advertisement also shows a great range of diversity with people from a variety of nationalities and as you would expect, plenty of football. Overall, it is a great advert and I’m sure it will pay off for them with someone so high profile ‘on board’. 

Other sponsors included major brands such as Coke, Adidas, Visa and McDonald’s. Adidas used several of their player ambassadors in their World Cup campaign, including a five-minute social video that they created of Dele Alli’s life, and what led him to this moment, participating in the 2018 World Cup.

Adidas smashed the concept they created, showing their audience a deeper insight into the individuals that make up the England team, appealing to audiences nationally and across the globe.

Campaigns from companies that were not official sponsors included a brand-new creative campaign based around the 2018 World Cup, ‘Love it. Live it. Football’ by Pepsi. The advert was strategically done – showcasing some of the world’s greatest football players including Leo Messi, Marcelo and England’s very own Dele Alli. The energy and enthusiasm are paramount in this advert as a pulsing soundtrack by Major Lazer plays in the background. The advert promotes the association between the Pepsi brand and the World Cup and really managed to stand out above the crowd.

Others based their marketing campaigns on that ‘coming together’ feeling as a result of the World Cup. The CO-OP ran two pizzas and four beers for £5 deal throughout with the tag line ‘Football is better together’ cashing in on the advantages of the World Cup. Other major brands include Domino’s Pizza who created a special edition football based ‘Meatfielder’ pizza especially for the World Cup as they expected sales to rise rapidly throughout.

As the World Cup came to an end last weekend, the football-themed campaigns have slowly sizzled out. The sun is still shining however, so a great British summer I’m sure will continue.

After an extraordinary World Cup, the country has come together, and the sponsors have made their mark. History was made this year by the England football team, but the sponsors also played their part in this story as they upped the ante on their campaigns.

I know it’s not for another four years, but I already can’t wait to see what the sponsors will do at the next World Cup. I’m confident it will be bigger and better than ever before, and you never know, we just might bring it home! 

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