• Cherlyn

2022 China Football Fan Marketing Value Report

Football is the world’s most popular sport, with 3.5 billion fans worldwide, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia have the largest fan base. These fans often support their national team, local club, “world” club, or specific players. Football doesn’t just attract the interest of fans around the world: from sponsorship to broadcasting, from club ownership to the value of the major football stars, football’s influence is universal.

International football matches have become an important medium for brand marketing and an important part of the global brand marketing market, successfully representing the most dynamic growth industry in the world. The upcoming FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 is one of the most important marketing opportunities in 2022. Based on Fastdata’s “2022 China Football Fan Marketing Value Report”, the report thoroughly analyses the development status of global football and also takes into account the portraits and valuable insights of Chinese football fans, to further analyse the marketing prospects of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.


The female fan base continues to grow, with 70% of women finding the Men’s World Cup attractive.


Football is also the most popular sport among female fans. According to the data, 31% of women are interested in football, followed by basketball at 28%, and athletics and tennis at 26% and 13% respectively.


China has the world’s largest fan base, with huge potential for football consumption


Counting the urban population alone, 228 million people in China are “interested” or “very interested” in football, and 125 million people in India are “interested” in football. This has allowed China and India to surpass the traditional football powerhouses of Brazil, Germany, Britain, France, Italy, etc., to become the two countries with the most football fans.


Portraits of Chinese football fans


With 289 million football fans, China has the largest fan base in the world and is one of the important markets for global football marketing. Nearly 90% of fans are male, and the post-70s and post-80s are the main groups of Chinese fans.

Football infrastructure is mainly distributed in cities and towns, nearly 80% of Chinese football fans live in China, of which 78.8% are in urban areas, and 21.2% are in rural areas. Chinese football fans are mainly distributed in third-tier cities (26.3%), fourth-tier cities (24.6%) and second-tier cities (15.6%).

In terms of educational background, nearly half of China fans have a university degree or above, and the general educational background of China fans is higher than that of internet users. In addition, the average purchasing power of China football fans is higher than the average, nearly half of the fans earn more than 10,000 yuan per month and the commercial value is relatively high. Nearly 60% of fans have been watching football for more than ten years, and the proportion of new fans in the past five years is relatively low.

More than half of China's fans watch football less than once a month, and mobile phones have surpassed TV to become the most important way for fans to watch football. In terms of content, game highlights and browsing football forums are important parts of the China fans watching football. CCTV-5, Migu, PP Sport, iQiyi Sports, Dongqiudi and Zhiboba are the main platforms for fans to watch live broadcasts, highlights, and post-match discussions.

In the first half of 2022, the UEFA Champions League and World Cup qualifiers attracted the most attention from fans, the AFC Women’s Asian Cup surpassed the Bundesliga and Serie A and was shortlisted in the top five.

FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Media Marketing Outlook


The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will begin in November, and the marketing activities related to the World Cup will become one of the key projects of marketing for various brands in 2022. Brands need to explore ways to win in the highly competitive World Cup marketing activities. Renowned brands are trying to increase revenue through advertising. In-depth knowledge of the FIFA World Cup Qatar can help brands carry out effective marketing campaigns in the most digital World Cup ever.


Like the Olympics, the FIFA World Cup is one of the truly “mega-events” in the sports world, with billions of spectators enjoying a wonderful sporting feast every four years. World Cup media rights revenue has become FIFA’s largest source of revenue, as broadcasters are willing to pay more for broadcasting rights to attract large audiences, although the World Cup is mostly broadcast for free in most football markets.

The media’s investment in World Cup broadcast rights continues to grow, and the current investment in 2022 has reached a peak, stockpiling ammunition for a marketing campaign that covers billions of people.


The proportion of China fans watching matches on mobile phones is significantly higher than in other parts of the world, and the marketing value of mobile football information live broadcast platforms is prominent


World Cup 2022 viewers, especially younger ones, have more entertainment options than ever vying for their time. To attract more young viewers, World Cup broadcasters and marketers should preferably offer good mobile viewing options. The younger generation is more likely to watch the World Cup through mobile terminals than the older generation. The proportion of China fans watching football matches through mobile devices such as mobile phones is higher than the global average, and the marketing value of mobile football live broadcasting platforms is obvious.

China spent the most on advertising during the 2018 World Cup


In the 2018 World Cup, companies invested a total of US$2.4 billion in advertising spending, while the advertising expenditure of China companies reached US$835 million, higher than US$400 million for American companies and US$64 million for Russian companies, becoming the top World Cup advertising country.


China enterprises enthusiastically participate in the FIFA World Cup Qatar


China companies continued the “enthusiasm” for the World Cup in Russia during this World Cup. The arrangements around the major championship-winning teams and sports stars were also carried out simultaneously, such as Mengniu Dairy signing Messi and Mbappé as the brand ambassadors, and Yili Group signing three national football teams of Argentina, Portugal, and Spain.


The commercial value of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 is doubtlessly


The popular sports economy in the past has verified the growth logic of “fan empathy, mental space, brand value, and consumption growth” generated by sports IP. It also enables China companies facing stiff competition to identify new growth opportunities that World Cup sports marketing can offer brands.


How FIFA World Cup Qatar can enhance China company’s global influence

From a marketing perspective, the World Cup has produced many brilliant marketing cases, among these successful cases are Budweiser’s lighting up the FIFA World Cup, Liddell’s “Dream Big” and Nike’s “Write The Future”.

However, World Cup-related marketing doesn’t necessarily work for every brand, and brands don’t need to try to incorporate football messages into their ads, thinking that all football lovers will buy products printed with their own brands.

Instead, brands should ensure that ads are product relevant as much as possible to football matches to increase brand awareness among users, rather than using overly generic ads, as such ads are glimpsed in World Cup hype.


The World Cup is not only direct marketing for brands but also an opportunity to show the world what the company values and how it is viewed globally, which is especially important for China companies going global.


To access the full report click here. Contact us to find out how to promote your brand through the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

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