World Cup could be a lost sales opportunity, warns John Nevens

Failure to target the shopper as well as the consumer could see the World Cup as a missed retail opportunity, says John Nevens, co-founder of customer marketing experts, Bridgethorne.

Traditionally major sporting events like the World Cup represents a business bonanza for UK retail sector. But brands that are looking to exploit the potential of the forthcoming World Cup in Brazil need to be preparing strategies that target the shopper as well as the consumer.


If history repeats itself, over the next few months England football fans will splash out on everything from replica shirts and new television to pizzas, wine and cases of beer as they follow the team’s progress in Brazil.


This reinforces the importance for brands and retailers to ensure marketing activity is optimised, by focusing on the shopper (those who actually make the purchasing decision) as well as the consumer. Suppliers must recognise that major disconnects may exist within their organisations, which are preventing them from committing their budgets in the most informed and most effective manner.  This, in turn, is having an impact on RoI and commercial efficiency.


Take beer as an example, where most statistics show that, whilst the overwhelming amount of bottled beer bought in supermarkets is consumed by men, most is also purchased by women. A campaign that offers tickets to a sporting event may be a good idea but a ticket promotion that may motivate the consumer – the man - might not necessarily appeal to the shopper. For a campaign to be fully connected it needs appeal to the shopper – perhaps a spa break to appeal to football widows - as well as the consumer and be relevant to both the stage of the purchasing journey and the shopping environment they are in.


The power of the World Cup is not in question. British retail sales rose six times faster than expected in the month preceding the last World Cup. (Source: ONS), whilst the British Retail Consortium (BRC) said that the 2006 World Cup in Germany generated about £1.25bn in extra spending across the retail sector. The British Beer and Pub Association estimates that around 3 million people watch football in pubs during the regular season whilst up to 15 million could watch England’s World Cup exploits in pubs.


Vast sums of money will be invested to drive brand awareness, increase sales and competitive advantage around the tournament but this investment is being risked because suppliers fail to recognise that their consumers and shoppers behave differently. The investment needs to target all phases of the shopper’s path to purchase (not just in-store activation) if return on investment is to be optimised.




Have your say

These comments have not been moderated.

You are encouraged to participate with comments that are relevant to our news stories. You should not post comments that are abusive, threatening, defamatory, misleading or invasive of privacy. For the full terms and conditions for commenting see clause 7 of our Terms and Conditions "Participating in Online Communities". These terms may be updated from time to time, so please read them before posting a comment.

Any comment that violates these terms may be removed in its entirety as we do not edit comments.

If you wish to complain about a comment please use the "report this post" button or email

Sign in

Newsletter Sign-up

I wish to receive the following newsletters:

Subscriber only alerts:

Twitter Facebook YouTube Linkedin