NEW YORK: Football fans around the world are set to make extensive use of their smartphones during the upcoming FIFA World Cup, making their devices second only to TV as a media channel, a global survey of 11 markets has revealed.
According to "2014 World Cup: A Global Mobile Perspective", a poll of 5,500 smartphone-owning fans by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), nearly half (48%) of respondents plan to use mobile to follow the event.
Only TV will attract more audience engagement at 63%, the IAB found, and furthermore smartphone-owning fans are already receptive to mobile ads.
A full 37% say they click on mobile ads every day, a figure which rises to 50% among those describing themselves as "football fanatics", or those who watch as much football as possible irrespective of team or country.
Also encouraging for marketers is the willingness of fans to pay for video content in the 11 markets surveyed – Australia, Brazil, China, Colombia, France, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the UK and the US.
Two-thirds (68%) of the global average say they're willing to pay for video of games-related content on their mobile phones, but this increases to 80% of fans in the UK, 78% of Mexicans and 74% of Colombians.
Meanwhile, 66% expect to use their mobile devices to share their experiences via social media and 35% anticipate using their mobiles while simultaneously watching coverage on TV.
Facebook stands to be a major beneficiary of this social media usage, Mobile Marketing Daily reported, because 45% say they expect to post World Cup content on the social network while Twitter will be used by 25%, personal messaging apps by 28% and SMS by 27%.
Ads most likely to appeal to these fans should involve fun and entertaining creative (33%), the report established, but 17% are also open to product relevancy, followed by ads featuring their country's team (16%).
Other drivers include great moments from previous World Cup matches (14%), ads featuring their favourite athletes (11%) and ads from official tournament sponsors (10%).
Anna Bager, vice president and general manager, Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence at the IAB, said the report showed fans are keen to "leverage their phones as part of their experience of the game".
"There is no question that this opens the door for brands to reach a valuable audience through mobile just as the entire globe is about to be transfixed by one of the most anticipated sporting events of the year," she said.
Data sourced from IAB, Mobile Marketing Daily; additional content by Warc staff