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The World Cup craze has been going on for just under three weeks and has reached fever pitch this week. The world’s largest single sporting event, hosted in Russia this year, has been hailed as one of the most unexpected games ever because of its surprise wins from fresh new countries who beat stalwart champions to qualify for the final rounds. All said, the football teams are not the only underdogs at the World Cup:

Brands who can’t afford the exorbitant fees, or were not selected to become official sponsors for events like the World Cup are also the underdog. How does a brand with a limited budget ride on the coattails of a high profile event like the World Cup, reaching the visibility of a brand that does? Ingenuity and creativity go a long way.

Brands compete with one another in ad campaigns that do not pay the steep fees required to be an official sponsor of the Games, but yet seek to associate themselves with the sporting event itself. For example, Ikea has come up with sofas designed especially for the World Cup – with seats that face away from the television screen for the uninterested, or with separate seats for fans supporting separate teams!

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Nike did not become the official clothing sponsor for the FIFA World Cup, but still had an amazing online presence with over 18 million views and over 55 thousand likes. They channelled the football of the streets of Brazil, hitting a sense of togetherness and community.

On the local front, Standard Chartered Bank has offered prizes and opportunities to watch the 2018 FIFA World Cup when you invest with them. For a minimum fee invested during a limited time period, one stands to win an all-expense paid trip to Moscow, Russia to watch the final tournament on 15 July, tickets to the final as well as merchandise. Standard Chartered also leveraged on official merchandise, giving away VIVO X21 smartphones (the official smartphone for FIFA).

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There is no way local F&B business could afford to pay FIFA for any coverage, nor would they need to. Local mamaks are the one of the traditional go-to places for watching live football, with good reason. The allure of very reasonably priced food and drinks with the communal atmosphere makes football season a very lucrative time for the local restaurants. Still, restaurants could remind the public that the live games were showing here at this particular eatery with posters or in-house or national advertisements, which some do.

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How can your brand leverage on a significant event in the most creative way?

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How would your brand participate in the golden age of the geek?

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