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| 2 minutes read

Bend it like Beckham? Terms and Conditions Apply

The most watched sporting event on the planet is due to return to our screens in Q4 after it’s traditional four year furlough. Forecasters have predicted an 8% increase in advertising spend in 2022 in part thanks to the return of the beautiful game. For Scotland supporters our 22 year wait to participate in the tournament will be extended but for marketers it will be a World Cup like no other.

The 2022 event will be held in Qatar, the first in its history to be hosted in the Middle East. With new horizons come new challenges:

  1. Can they do it on a cold wet night in Stoke?

Potentially, but that will need to wait because in Qatar it will be hotter than hot. The tournament has been moved from its traditional summer schedule to take place later in the year to ensure the weather is more palatable for players and supporters. Summer months in Qatar can reach 43c, whereas temperatures in December will be a more practical 24c. For advertisers in certain markets the timing of the tournament means a consideration for Christmas, Black Friday and Cyber Monday which will all fall in reach of the event with the final due to take place on 22nd December.

Couples and families are more likely to purchase big ticket items during this time of year and this is likely to influence the focus of those advertisers. Despite anticipated inflationary pressures on consumer spending, the World Cup provides an unparalleled ability to reach younger and wealthier consumers at scale.


  1. It’s a game of two halves.

The awarding of the rights to host the World Cup in Qatar has not been without controversy. A particular spotlight on alleged human rights abuses in the country will mean advertisers will need to create contingency plans for their planned creatives should stakeholders raise concerns about any endorsement of the tournament. Critics have accused Qatar's government of conducting a 'sports-washing' PR campaign in the build-up to the tournament to detract focus away from non-football issues. David Beckham in particular has drawn criticism for fronting a campaign for Qatar tourism with his appearance in a promotional video described as “naïve” by human rights advocates.

Whatever the outcome, and with Scotland absent once more, I look forward to watching the campaigns that are due to launch. For further reading I suggest a review of The Best World Cup ads of all time.

The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and not necessarily the views of FTI Consulting, Inc., its management, its subsidiaries, its affiliates, or its other professionals. 

FTI Consulting, Inc., including its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a consulting firm and is not a certified public accounting firm or a law firm. 

“David Beckham has done a lot of great work in the past. I applaud him for that, but this deal is very damaging to his brand.”


advertising, media spend, media, sponsorships, brand endorsements