World Cup 2014: Global Reach Matters

June 13, 2014

Christina Hernandez

Christina Hernandez is new media coordinator at GES, where she manages GES’ corporate blog and their social media community.

2010 was one of the best years of my life. Why? I graduated from college and was selected to work at one of the world’s largest sporting events, the FIFA World Cup. Many Americans don’t understand the magnitude of this event and quite frankly, I don’t blame them. The NBA,NFLMLB and NHL are powerhouses. We look forward to the Super Bowlthe Finalsthe World Series and the Stanley Cup (amongst others, I know, but these are the most talked about, in my opinion).

Americans tend to forget the global reach of soccer. The rules are pretty simple, it easily translates to different cultures and it doesn’t alienate people based on socioeconomic backgrounds. One of the most powerful experiences I had while living in Cape Town, South Africa during the 2010 World Cup was the pickup games we had with the homeless youth that lived down the street. We didn’t speak the same language and lived extremely different lives, but we were able to bond and have a blast together.

Soccer doesn’t require any equipment and you don’t even need a special type of ball to play. While there, I saw people of all ages, ethnicities and genders kicking around practically anything! The moment you’re able to bond with someone who is completely different than you over a sport you’re both completely in love with, is a moment of engagement you’ll never forget.

That’s what the World Cup has that most large sporting events don’t… Their fan base. It transcends who has access to high-priced premium box seats, a certain television network or even a television. It’s a lifestyle and passion for individuals all over the world. This means going to the World Cup is more than just a pay check or winning a match, it’s a uniting of their country’s people to support the athletes who represent them so proudly.

Not only does this global mindset affect how much fun everyone has at the Cup, but it also affects the marketing surrounding it. I really enjoy analyzing how brands approach the event from a global perspective and the creativity that transpires from targeting their audience this way. One of the most heartwarming ads, which I enjoyed, dancing and singing along to in 2010, was from Coca Cola.

Not only can everyone relate to the amazing feeling you have after achieving or scoring a goal, but who doesn’t LOVE to dance?! Brilliant right? And don’t worry; they’re doing it again this year… But they’re crowd sourcing content aka photographs, another globally unified way to capture memories!

Our industry must keep our global hat on when bringing events to life. Why? That’s what our attendees deserve. From Iceland to Las Vegas, attendees come from all around the world to have the experience of a lifetime at the events we partner with our clients to create…. Let’s strive to make sure everyone feels a part of the bigger picture. So… Ke Nako Brazil, it’s time for you to show the world just what you’re made of!

P.S. Ole, Ole, Ole, Ole … USA, USA! Go boys! I hope you bring home the Cup… Although Group G does look killer, I have faith that you can take down Germany, Ghana and Portugal.

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