Kick-off & Score for Social Media

Today is kick-off or the third round, depending on whether you are more excited about the World Cup or Queen’s tennis. Whether it’s sneaking off to watch the tennis or lingering over the football – it is a viewing frenzy of sport this summer and there will be winners and losers, not only in terms of athletes.

The Guardian reported at the beginning of this week that the real winner, in terms of where marketing resources and efforts are being directed, is social media. This is demonstrated by Adidas launching its biggest ever campaign in its history to support its sponsorship of the World Cup. It has opted to spend more on digital marketing than TV ads. Even Adidas’s global TV campaign has the aim of pushing engagement with consumers on social media including on Twitter. The Director of Global Brand Marketing for Adidas football, Tom Ramsden, has commented that this commitment to social media is because it is a platform which allows Adidas to tell more stories than in a TV ad. Contrast this with the 2010 World Cup where only 20% of marketing spend was digital. The importance and power of social media is being displayed constantly as one staggering figure suggests; there have already been more posts on Twitter regarding the World Cup before kick-off in Brazil than for the whole tournament in 2010.

This sporting frenzy also poses challenges to employers. How do you reconcile employees desperate to watch the latest match, but not wasting time at work? Especially with social media the temptation of distracting sport is omnipresent. Jonathan Wright, an employment lawyer at Wedlake Bell LLP suggests the following:

“The World Cup is a major event that comes around only once every four years, and as such, it is worth employers considering how they can balance accommodating staff with minimising any inconvenience to their business. Being flexible can actually give employers more control over their workforce, as well as reducing absences and last-minute holiday requests. Put simply, an employee is less likely to call in sick if they know they will be able to watch the big game guilt-free at work.”

So there is lots to think about before the final whistle’s blown or game set and match, whatever you are watching from today.