2018 FIFA World Cup

The View from Moscow

By David Lucas, Head of International Federations, Nielsen Sports

Over the past four weeks, on behalf of Nielsen Sports, I’ve been hard at work on the ground in Moscow, helping FIFA to ensure that they deliver the best-ever FIFA World Cup experience for fans.

As a Branded Licensee, Nielsen Sports provides the Official Market Research Report for FIFA World Cup Russia 2018, so it is vital that during the event we build on our on-going work in brand tracking, fan engagement and sponsorship evaluation, to create a holistic understanding of the success of the tournament itself.

So what was our approach?

Key elements of the tournament-time measurement and evaluation programme included:

  • Sponsor brand exposure measurement and valuation
  • Global measurement of out-of-home audiences
  • Spectator experience evaluation in the host city, at every venue from Kaliningrad to Ekaterinburg and FIFA Fan Fests throughout Russia

Sponsor brand exposure measurement and evaluation

A key element of a commercial affiliate partnership with FIFA is the presence of advertising boards visible during the FIFA World Cup around the perimeter of the pitch. We measured the visibility of these assets during the tournament and reported back to FIFA within 48 hours using an online dashboard tool. This allowed FIFA to ensure that their partners were receiving the correct quantity of LED minutes as well as insight to which partners were on-screen during goal celebration moments. Post-event partner exposure is also valued in order to provide a return on investment in terms of equivalent advertising space and a discounted value based on the quality of the exposure.

Out-of-home audience measurement

It is likely that over the course of the past four weeks, most of you will have watched part, or all of, at least one FIFA World Cup match in a pub, a town square, or on a mobile device on a bus or a train. It is vital that FIFA has a good understanding of the size of this out-of-home viewership and the consequent audience uplift to the metered TV audience. By conducting day-after recall interviews in over 20 markets worldwide, we are able to extrapolate this average audience uplift to help FIFA gain an understanding of total global viewership.

Spectator Experience evaluation

FIFA wants to ensure that spectators at the World Cup in Russia enjoy an experience of a lifetime and Nielsen Sports helped to deliver on this goal by interviewing spectators at match venues and FIFA Fan Fests around the country throughout the tournament and beyond. Short, operationally oriented, face-to-face interviews were conducted by our interviewers on-site to ensure that the in-the-moment experience delivers those moments of magic that create a once in a lifetime experience, whilst a longer questionnaire, delivered by email at the end of the tournament, provides a more holistic evaluation of the entire event.

Looking ahead

With this year’s competition finally coming to a close, attention naturally shifts to FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. We’re proud of the role we have played in helping FIFA to deliver the greatest show on earth and in creating a body of knowledge and insights that will ensure the next tournament again delivers a once in a lifetime experience for viewers and spectators alike’.