World Cup 2014 sparks global ad boom

The World Cup will help the global ad market grow 5.4% in 2014, up from 3.9% in 2013, according to ZenithOptimedia’s new Advertising Expenditure Forecasts. Growth will continue to improve over the next two years, reaching 5.7% in 2015 and 6.1% in 2016, driven by continued economic recovery, including, at last, the Eurozone.

ZenithOptimedia predict that the FIFA World Cup will boost global adspend by an estimated US$1.5bn this year. The event will deliver large television audiences and high interest in news media and sport websites, at a time of year when – in the northern hemisphere at least – people normally spend less time consuming media. They expect TV to benefit the most, but World Cup advertisers will spend more of their budgets on internet advertising, with advertisers more active on social media than during any previous sporting event.

ZenithOptimedia also forecasts the World Cup to have the biggest impact in Latin America, where the matches will be ideally timed for Latin American viewers. They predict that the World Cup will add as much as US$500m to the Latin American ad market this year.

Meanwhile, the conflict in Ukraine has severely disrupted commercial activity, and advertisers have sharply reduced their expenditure in the market. ZenithOptimedia now forecasts adspend in Ukraine this year to shrink 32.5%, substantially worse than the 11.3% decline forecast back in April. The Russian economy has suffered from sanctions imposed by the US and the EU, and a withdrawal of international investment.

Mobile advertising (by which is meant “all internet ads delivered to smartphones and tablets, whether display, classified or search, and including in‐app ads”) is growing 5.5 times faster than desktop internet. ZenithOptimedia forecasts mobile advertising to grow by an average of 49% a year between 2013 and 2016, driven by the rapid adoption of smartphones and tablets, and the subsequent explosion of mobile search and media consumption.

Overall, however, the World Cup will provide a big boost to television in June and July, but its share of the global advertising market to begin to fall this year, after peaking in 2013. Television’s global market share rose slowly but steadily for decades, increasing from 29.9% in 1980 to 39.6% in 2013.

“The World Cup is a great opportunity for advertisers to reach passionate and involved audiences worldwide. While television will remain central to how fans experience the competition, advertisers are using digital media more than ever before to help shape this experience. Over the next few years internet advertising will play an even greater role in supplementing the brand‐building power of television,” concludes Steve King, ZenithOptimedia’s CEO, Worldwide.


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