During the 2022 MLB All-Star Game, FOX Sports debuted a TV spot featuring Jon Hamm as a startled Santa Claus – the first glimpse at the network’s 2022 FIFA World Cup marketing campaign.
As a reminder, the twenty-second edition of the FIFA World Cup is the first to be held in the fall and winter season, which presents intriguing opportunities for cross-sport promotion unavailable during the traditional summer timeframe. What does this mean? The world’s biggest and most-watched sporting event will take place during the heart of the NFL and college football schedules. The NBA and NHL will each be roughly a month into their 2022-23 campaign when the first ball is kicked. College basketball will tip in the first week of the FIFA World Cup. You get the picture.
FOX Sports, holder of broadcast rights with the NFL, college football, and college basketball will certainly look to take advantage and lean heavy into cross-promotion in order to attract what could be the largest American viewing audience in FIFA World Cup history – or at least is until 2026. We saw the first glimpse into the potential of cross-promotion during the MLB All-Star Game. Beyond the television debut of the commercial, U.S. Men’s National Team coach Gregg Berhalter and midfielder Kellyn Acosta were at the game and shown on the broadcast.
Let us not forget what the fall and winter seasons also mean – holidays. The FIFA World Cup kicks off just as many Americans are headed home to their family for Thanksgiving and ends just days before Christmas. Additionally, the FIFA World Cup Final is the same day as the start of Hanukkah. Naturally, FOX Sports leaned into the holiday theme with their ‘Tis the FIFA World Cup campaign. Expect to see plenty more holiday-themed commercials and activations from FOX Sports as the network looks to take advantage of the unique opportunity a fall and winter tournament presents.
This spot featuring Hamm as a worried Santa Claus is the first in a series of three from the award-winning actor. The next will debut in September as the NFL season begins – I did mention keeping an eye on cross-sport promotion, right? The final Hamm spot will air closer to the FIFA World Cup to round out the ‘Tis the FIFA World Cup campaign.
Leaning into the busiest American sporting calendar timeframe and the holidays is a no-brainer for FOX Sports and we’re excited to see how they approach their marketing campaign, especially when the tournament would traditionally be starting at time of publishing.
PS – there had better be a cheesy, soccer-themed holiday love story movie…