Germany 1. World Cup Fever 1,000.
JULY 14, 2014

THE day after the biggest football game of the year, Madison Avenue was eagerly — and, in some quarters, anxiously — combing through data to learn whether ads were hits or flops with tens of millions of fans.

A description of a Monday in early February, after a Super Bowl? Yes. But also a description of what took place on a Monday in mid-July, as marketers and agencies studied analyses of how their work performed during the 2014 World Cup — on television, online and in social media like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

The breadth and depth of those day-after assessments were new for American advertising, far more extensive than the post-mortems that took place after the 2010 World Cup. The difference offered another example of how, after many decades, the tournament has finally become a “big event” for United States consumers and a premier ad platform like the Olympics or, yes, the Super Bowl.

Although Visa has “been involved with soccer in the United States for a long time,” Ricardo Fort, senior vice president for global sponsorship marketing, said in a phone interview from Rio de Janeiro, “we were not expecting to have the interest, engagement, in the United States that we did.”

“It was unbelievable,” he added, and as a result, “we changed the plan and invested more in the U.S., gave more content to the U.S.” during the tournament. Visa is one of six marketers — along with Adidas, Coca-Cola, the Gulf airline Emirates, Hyundai/Kia and Sony — whose sponsorship deals with the World Cup organization, FIFA, are at the highest, “partner” level


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