The 2022 World Cup in Qatar promises to be an exciting tournament, full of twists and turns that are sure to delight audiences. That excitement is shared in the iGaming world, as brands are expecting fans all over the world to be looking to place bets on the exciting matches being played by the world’s best.
At the 2018 World Cup, an estimated €136 billion was bet on the prestigious tournament worldwide, according to a report put together by FIFA and Sportsradar, and that number can be expected to increase greatly headed into the 2022 edition with many new markets becoming regulated for online gaming. The US is a great example of the potential with this World Cup, as one of the newer markets that wasn’t available for regulated online gaming back in 2018 and that sees about 23% of its sporting bets on soccer, which is third in the country behind only American football and basketball.
The American Gaming Association backs up this assumption, as they estimate that 8% of Americans (20.5 million people) will bet a total of $1.8 billion.
As this is certain to be a massive event in the iGaming world, operators need to be prepared to engage their users to make the most of this exciting tournament that only comes around every 4 years.
The Outlook for the Upcoming 2022 World Cup
There are a lot of differences with the upcoming 2022 World Cup, with the biggest being when it takes place. Typically, the tournament takes place on its own, in the middle of summer when only baseball is around to compete with. This time around though, the World Cup will kick-off in the middle of November, alongside other major sports like football, basketball and hockey, while forcing club level soccer to the bench. As betting for most sportsbooks increases when the NFL and major European soccer leagues are active, the World Cup will be taking place during an exciting time in the iGaming world.
The last World Cup in 2018 was a massive success for the iGaming world, but the industry has rapidly evolved in the last four years. Since then, online gambling has become more accessible to users worldwide, with many markets now offering regulated iGaming products, ensuring this World Cup will likely be a massive deal for iGaming brands.
How Operators Can Take Advantage
With countries and fandoms all over the world tuning into the World Cup, the main focus for brands must be on localization, especially for brands who operate in a variety of geos. While general advertisements focusing on the stars and exciting bets that will occur during the World Cup can be used with success, the global nature of this event means different markets will have varying interests.
For example, let’s take Mexico, who will be competing at the tournament. While ads with massive stars from other countries may appeal to punters in that market, there also should be focus on their national team and ensuring to have content in their native language of Spanish. Localization is always important, but with an incredibly diverse audience tuning in, brands will need to make sure they cater to each one with the appropriate language, payment options and relevant content.
The timing of the World Cup is another major element to consider. With the event taking place close to the holidays, that presents some unique challenges and opportunities to brands. While we mentioned that other sports are already ongoing, there’s also the fact that disposable income may be tighter, as the holidays typically lead to increased spending on gifts for friends and family. With that in mind, we suggest looking to connect with your audience at the start of the tournament in November, before the stress of the holiday season really goes into full effect.
With the World Cup right around the corner, the time is now for brands to take full advantage. With other major sports bringing users to different brands, the World Cup presents a terrific opportunity to connect with them around this global event. By focusing on each audience and what about the historic tournament resonates with them most, brands can increase their chances of forming a meaningful connection with users.