Brands, which country is most gripped by FIFA World Cup fever?

June 10, 2018 11:00 am


With just a week to go before the start of the 21st FIFA World Cup in Russia, World Cup Fever has been breaking out all over the globe and beyond.

In shops, Nigeria’s fluorescent, lime-green shirt became the hottest item on the market when three million pre-orders caused the tops to sell out in minutes.

READ: Guess how much brands will spend on advertising in FIFA World Cup!

In space, a Soyuz spacecraft delivered an official FIFA 2018 football to the International Space Station, where two cosmonauts played an impromptu game in zero gravity.

A ranking of the top 50 countries most gripped by World Cup Fever has revealed interesting insights about the mega sporting event.

The ranking by ForwardKeys, which predicts future travel patterns by analysing 17 million booking transactions a day, is based on the uplift in visitor arrivals to Russia from 4th June to 15th July, when World Cup ticket holders do not need a visa to enter the country.

The nation at the top of the list, with the greatest number of additional visitors, is the USA. It is followed, in order, by Brazil, Spain, Argentina, South Korea, Mexico, China, the UK, Germany and Egypt.

This result may seem surprising because the USA has not qualified for the finals but interest in the spot has grown strongly since the 1994 World Cup when it was the host nation. Consequently, there will be nearly twice as many Americans in Russia during the World Cup asBrazilians.

ForwardKeys believes that the reasons for the USA’s high placing also include the fact that it is the largest outbound travel market in the world and that it has a sizable Latin segment in its population.

READ: Why luxury brands MUST go beyond digital and embrace 360-degree experience

However, ForwardKeys also looked at an alternative method of ranking countries, instead benchmarking them against the number of visitors that came to Russia during the equivalent period last year.

On that method of analysis, Paraguay tops the list with over 52 times as many Paraguayans coming to Russia for the World Cup as visited in 2017.

It is followed, in order by Peru, which last qualified for the finals in 1982, Panama, Nigeria, Tunisia, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Colombia and Morocco (see chart).

One notable absentee from the top 50 list is Belgium. The country has qualified for the World Cup but it is not showing up in either of the analyses.

ForwardKeys’ explanation is the collapse of Vim Airlines, last autumn, which had a sizable share of flights between Brussels and Russia so many Belgians are likely flying from neighbouring countries instead.

READ: TAG Heuer: It’s time to connect

Olivier Jager, CEO, ForwardKeys said: “It is interesting to compare the different methods for assessing World Cup fever. On one approach, the list is headed by small countries, whose populations rarely visit Russia, so the uplift multiples of the top-ranked countries are enormous.”

“However,” he added, “the alternative approach tells you where the largest numbers of fans are coming from. Nevertheless, what I find fascinating is that whichever method one uses to assess World Cup fever, the top country is one that has not qualified for the finals. If anything, that illustrates the global appeal of football. My observation is that only four countries make the top 15 on both methods, Brazil, Egypt, Mexico and Peru so perhaps we should say they are the ones most gripped by World Cup Fever.”

Tags:

Sunil Kumar Singh
By Sunil Kumar Singh
Sunil is a digital-savvy journalist and a leader in managing and integrating print & digital content in UAE, the Gulf and India. Sunil is an innovative editor with over 14 years' experience in digital content marketing, leading team and ability to deliver quality content for both print and new media.



AMEinfo EXPERTS