Editor’s note: Nikhil Jain is insights and data solutions senior manager, Dailymotion, Paris. 

The World Cup is one of the world’s most-watched sporting events, second only to the Summer Olympics. More than 3.5 billion people tuned in for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. FIFA president, Gianni Infantino expects 5 billion to watch the 2022 World Cup. One-third (33%) of Americans plan to watch at least a few key games and more than half (54%) intend to follow the tournament in some form. With so many viewers, advertisers have a tremendous opportunity to reach current and prospective customers, but that doesn’t mean they have to spend big on match day.

Our latest research shows that more than four-fifths (83%) of content related to a high-profile football (soccer) match occurs before or after the big event. Team news, classic highlights and virtual matchups tend to hook fans ahead of time while post-match analysis and replays attract audiences in the days after. 

These are among the important stats that will benefit advertisers as the cookieless future approaches. While Google continues to delay the third-party cookie ban for Chrome users, brands need to start preparing for the inevitable. They can get started by taking a closer look at how they can better understand their viewers and forget about traditional methods of user tracking.

National TV ad buys for the 2018 World Cup approached $500,000 during the finals. That’s a significant amount of money to spend on one 30-second spot, but not all brands need a massive budget to reach their desired consumer base. 

In fact, many advertisers have learned they don’t have to break the bank – they can reach viewers on other platforms on days leading up to and after the match. Our research shows that people who view three or more soccer videos each month are 179% more likely to watch news and politics and 139% more drawn to home and garden content.