With the FIFA World Cup a mere two month’s away, teams from around the world are ramping up for game time. But players aren’t the only ones getting ready; industries like tourism, sportswear, and even pizza delivery are also preparing to cash in from the competition; and with the World Cup’s exceptionally extensive reach, they’d be crazy not to.
Back in 2014, nearly half the world’s population tuned in. More tourists visited Brazil than ever before, giving FIFA a whopping $527 million in ticket sales. The Guardian estimated that Domino’s pizza would bring in about $115 million in the UK alone, while sportswear manufacturers would see up to $14.5 billion in revenue.
So what does this mean for affiliate marketers? Well, it’s clear that this year’s FIFA World Cup in Russia will be game time for them, too; publishers stand to significantly benefit from running campaigns in industries related to the games. With that in mind, here are a few industries to consider working with, and how best to hit the ground running:
Travel sites that sell airfare and train tickets to Russia
By the end of January, more than four million FIFA World Cup tickets had been requested from fans around the world. By the middle of March, over 1.3 million tickets had been allocated after a second random selection draw, with sales set to re-open on a first-come, first-serve basis shortly afterwards.
While many of these tickets are held by Russian fans, 65% of them were allocated to global customers in this latest random selection round - with more than 20,000 - 30,000 fans travelling from Colombia, Brazil, Peru, Germany and the US each. Evidently, a lot of people will be travelling to the Russian host cities - and well, this will prove to be a huge opportunity for global publishers.
How should one get started, then? Partner with an affiliate network with knowledge of Russian industries. Our own affiliate network Admitad holds 70% of the CPA (Cost per Action) market in Russia, for example, and we have partnerships with dozens of global brands to help publishers monetise the World Cup. Here are a few we believe are set to bring in a high amount of revenue:
- OneTwoTrip.com for booking flights and hotels
- Momondo and Tripsta for air ticket metasearch
- Emirates, Etihad Airways, and Qatar Airways for airline tickets
- Kiwi for creating the best flight combinations
- GoEuro for booking bus, plane and train tickets
There are also car rental services such as Myrentacar.com, Economybookings.com and Rentalcars, not to mention airport shuttle services like kiwitaxi.com, gettransfer.com, and intui.travel, which let clients book their trips in advance.
Keep in mind, however, that competition will be steep for publishers in the days leading up to the World Cup. It’s important, then, for publishers to get creative in the way they share affiliate links. We recommend publishers position themselves as a resource for fans travelling to Russia - because ultimately, it’s valuable content that will catch consumer’s attention. This can be done by writing travel reviews or educating readers on how best to get from point A to point B, for example.
Hotel booking services in Russian host cities
Similar to other years, the 2018 FIFA World Cup will host matches in a range of cities across Russia. Russia’s capital Moscow will boast two venues, with St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-don, Ekaterinburg, Samara and Saransk featuring one venue each. Luckily for publishers, this means hotel sales will be rampant in 11 Russian cities.
Publishers can profit from hotel sales by, again, acting as a travel resource for their audience. If the audience is made up of younger consumers or backpackers, educate them on cheaper options for accommodation - whether it be a hostel or just a great deal. However, if the audience is looking for something a little more special, an affiliate marketer might want to seek out connections with higher end hotels to monetize traffic.
Within the Admitad network, Booking.com, Hotellook, Marriott, Radisson Blu, Russian website Ostrovok.ru and Hotels Combined are good brands to partner with. To get a higher conversion rate, Admitad offers deep links to interior pages (instead of just linking to the merchant’s homepage), as well as advanced statistics and tracking via our analytical service or the user interface. We also offer quick integration, and fast support services should anything occur when 2018 FIFA World Cup travel sales are in their prime.
Russian cultural products and tours
Most people coming to Russia aren’t just here to watch football; they also want to take in Russia’s rich culture. As such, publishers should look to promote Russian-centric products or tourism-related activities which take visitors to unique historical destinations.
One Russian advertiser on Admitad’s network, Sputnik8.com, provides guided excursions all over the world - including a walking tour of the Red Square, or a rooftop excursion in Moscow, for example. Another advertiser tutu.ru offers train tickets for the Trans-Siberian Railway, which connects Moscow with the Russian Far East. With a length of 9,289 kilometres, it’s the longest railway in the world.
In addition to being experts on Russia, Admitad offers publishers wanting to earn revenue from the 2018 FIFA World Cup guaranteed payments for approved conversions, even if the advertiser hasn’t paid Admitad yet. We follow a weekly payment schedule, so publishers don’t have to wait until the competition closes before they get paid. Better yet, we provide publishers with advocacy and help them to apply for exclusive global offers and work with the international clients.
Understanding marketing regulations
FIFA has strict regulations for media and marketing entities for the 2018 World Cup. Basically, it doesn’t want unofficial third parties linking themselves to the event - through things like ticket giveaways, or even indirectly through creative marketing campaigns.
“The reason that FIFA considers prohibited marketing as a priority in its brand protection work is that it puts FIFA’s commercial programme directly at risk by trying to devalue official sponsorship,” it writes on it’s website. All in all, it’s imperative for publishers to study the marketing regulations here to ensure they do not engage in any prohibiting marketing or media procedures. If they do, FIFA can sue.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup will prove to be a goldmine for publishers - no matter where they are in the world. However, to ensure their publishing efforts most successful, affiliate marketers should partner with networks that are truly knowledgeable in the space. In Russia, this means Admitad. Admitad is the largest affiliate network in The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and has received several CIS region-specific awards for lead generation/CPA, quality, and cooperation in the space.
Not only this, but Admitad has an extensive global reach - on China’s largest shopping holiday, ‘Single’s Day,’ for example, the cross-border sales volume through the Admitad affiliate network exceeded $30 million USD, with European buyers accounting for 84 percent of the sales. Add all these factors together, and Admitad is the best affiliate network for 2018 FIFA World Cup success.