The road to the 2018 FIFA World Cup has been more than two years in the making for Fox Sports, so it makes sense that the event’s launch campaign would pay off that long wait.

The cameo-laden campaign (above) kicks off Tuesday, May 15, and features everyone from Deadpool to soccer legend David Beckham, Philadelphia 76er Joel Embiid, Orlando Pride forward Alex Morgan and boxing great Evander Holyfield​, as well as many international stars that soccer fans will recognize. The spot is airing simultaneously across 21st Century Fox-owned television networks, including Fox, FS1, FX, National Geographic and others. It also will air May 16 during the NBA Western Conference Finals.

“It’s definitely a high-octane snapshot of what happens to our world when the World Cup comes,” said Robert Gottlieb, executive vice president and head of marketing for Fox Sports. “A lot of the scenes that you’ll see in the spot have celebrities and athletes interacting with the World Cup.”

The whole spot is set to a new song by Jack White, titled “Over and Over and Over” from his new album “Boarding House Reach.”

As the tournament gets closer, Fox Sports will break the campaign up into smaller pieces featuring the celebrities and athletes in their own spots, said Gottlieb.

The campaign, called “The World Becomes the FIFA World Cup, was created with Fox Sports by Wieden + Kennedy New York.

Root for Your Roots

Much like the Olympics, FIFA is very possessive about the brands with whom it allows its broadcast partners to sponsor, but another spot Fox Sports created ahead of the global tournament features genetics-testing company 23andMe. The spot not only executed on a fun idea, but also solved a problem for Fox Sports.

“The US didn’t qualify for the World Cup at all, which was not good, but it was definitely like ‘that plan B thing becomes a bit more important now,’” said Gottlieb.

The Fox Sports marketing team already had come up with an idea in which people who had no reason to root for a particular team found reasons to root for them once their own team gets knocked out of the tournament. When the U.S. men’s team failed to qualify, it felt extra important to air a spot that gave potential viewers other motivations to cheer on teams from around the world.

Finally, here’s a looks at the Fox Sports’ team’s set-up in Moscow’s Red Square ahead of the competition.

The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off June 14 and runs through July 15 on Fox and Fox Sports 1 in the U.S.

To hear more about Fox Sports efforts to market the 2018 FIFA World Cup, listen to Gottlieb’s entire conversation with PromaxBDA Editorial Director Paige Albiniak:

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Tags: fifa world cup 2018 fox sports robert gottlieb the daily brief podcast

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