BLOG | by Sarah Potter

Club World Cup SHORTS

FIFA’s strategy paying off in MENA region

In December, Qatar hosted the FIFA Club World Cup, making it three years in a row that the tournament has been held in the region.

Following two years in neighbouring United Arab Emirates, the competition will now spend 2019 and 2020 in Qatar.

So what sort of legacy will the tournament leave when it departs the Middle East?

Our data suggests a strong one. In the UAE right now, the tournament’s Impression score is second only to the FIFA World Cup. In fact, the property’s peak Impression score for December 2019 comfortably beats its peak score for December 2018, when the country was actually hosting the event (see chart below).

It’s a similar story in Saudi Arabia, where the property is performing well against all metrics – it’s currently the fourth most talked-about sports event in the country.

Attracting younger audiences

The Club World Cup is also interesting in respect of the following it’s earned in the UAE.

When we look at our Current Customer metric, which tells us who is following the tournament, it enjoys a distinctly younger complexion than a domestically popular property like the Premier League.

That will give FIFA a nice USP when it comes to selling TV and sponsorship rights next time around – while also giving the UAE something to shout about when it bids for any future football rights.

Making a good impression among football fans

Just a quick final observation. Since we started tracking it in the UAE, the Club World Cup has always significantly lagged behind the FIFA World Cup for Impression among fans of domestic teams (do you have a positive or negative impression of the event?). But over the last month or so, this football fan segment just about level-pegs the two events. That’s a good performance against the highest possible benchmark in the UAE for Impression.

BLOG | by Sarah Potter

Associate Director

Sarah has over 15 years’ experience in media intelligence and data analysis, working across a variety of sectors, but specialising in government and automotive. She has project-managed global media projects for such brands as JLR, Ferrari, and FedEx, and devised highly specialised programmes measuring the success of government initiatives in UAE and Saudi Arabia. She has extensive international experience, having worked in London, New York and Hong Kong before settling in Dubai. She started her career working for The Economist Newspaper, before moving on to Report International (now CARMA) and has been with YouGov Sport since September 2019.


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