Held almost 7 years after William and Kate tied the knot, last month’s royal wedding made us fall in love with the British monarchy all over again. But it seems nothing – not even the royals – can capture our hearts like the beautiful game, as the World Cup looks set to steal the crown for biggest event of 2018.
Record-breaking viewing figures
Many expected the royal wedding to be the highlight of the year. The streets near Windsor Castle were lined with Union Jacks on Saturday 19th May. Eager crowds were gathered along the roadside, desperately awaiting a glimpse of the celebrated bride and groom. And it wasn’t just in the Royal Borough that royal wedding fever was rife. Over 18 million viewers from all around the world tuned in to watch Prince Harry say ‘I do’ to LA film star Meghan Markle, making it (at the time) the most-watched occasion of 2018 by far.
But just a few weeks later, Harry Kane stole the newly-wed Duke and Duchess of Essex’s spotlight. Almost 70% of British television viewers (that’s a record-breaking 18.3 million people) caught Kane score a last-minute victory over Tunisia in England’s opening match of the 2018 Russia World Cup.
And the current England squad, managed by Gareth’s Southgate, continued to draw in shocking viewing figures 6 days later. An incredible 72.9% of all viewers tuned in to the BBC to catch England’s crushing victory against Panama on the afternoon of Sunday 24th June.
Just like the first ever union between an English prince and an American actress, the England v Panama game is one for the history books. Star striker Kane pulled off a hattrick, with Jesse Lingard and John Stones helping to make it a monumental 6 – 1 success for the Three Lions.
It was the first time ever that England had managed to score 5 goals in the first half of a World Cup match. The astonishing victory has got supporters even more excited for the club’s upcoming games. Book makers have slashed the odds to 9/1 for England to win entire the World Cup, whilst broadcasters expect even higher viewing figures for England’s knockout stage fixtures.
What’s more, the World Cup is not only proving to be the most-watched event of the year, it’s also inspiring some of the most successful promotional campaigns of 2018.
During the royal wedding, a few companies came up with some clever marketing ideas. Marks and Spencer tried to entice more customers through the door by re-naming its branches ‘Markle and Sparkle’, and the Yorkshire sausage makers at HECK released limited-edition packs of sweet ginger and American mustard flavour sausages (comically inspired by the royal red-haired groom and famous American bride).
But just a few weeks into the World Cup, it seems great football-themed promotional campaigns are everywhere. Panini has released an online version of its famous sticker book, and Budweiser is ‘lighting up the FIFA World Cup’ with its campaign of drones flying across the globe.
The popular online casino bgo.com has been celebrating since the kick off of the first match in Russia, with their phenomenal Spins for Goals promotional campaign. They’ve been giving their customers the chance to win bgo casino free spins to play their Football: Champions Cup slot game for every goal scored by every country. In fact, on the day of the England v Panama match alone, bgo gave away a grand total of 71,060 free spins to its lucky online casino players.
So it seems the royal wedding is fast becoming a distant blur as the international football tournament in Russia continues captivate the country. And with the club about to enter the knockout stages, the national case of football mania only looks set to heighten.