The Netherlands played their first World Cup match against Portugal on Sunday morning. But there’s certainly no doubt about the orange madness yet. The only major sponsor ING has a commercial on TV, saving up for orange appliances is certainly not an option, and the Netherlands’ most popular Oranjestraat isn’t pulling out all the stops either. How did this happen?
The fact that the Dutch walk around en masse wearing whoopie T-shirts, vuvuzelas, howler T-shirts or horn hats is not going to happen at the Women’s World Cup in New Zealand and Australia. Those who don’t like football have probably overlooked the World Cup so far.
Nor do companies take advantage of a sporting event to put themselves in the spotlight with a big orange campaign. Through commercials on TV and online, ING, the main sponsor of the Dutch Football Association, is putting most of its energy into the Orange Women. “The popularity and influence of women’s football is growing,” says federation spokesman Harold Reusken. “Unfortunately, it is not yet at the level of men’s football. As a major sponsor, you can do something about that by giving it the attention it deserves and needs.
In the campaign, ING draws attention to the difference between men’s football and women’s football. This fits perfectly with what can be seen in society: no craziness, no big screens, no orange streets. “While women also perform exceptionally athletically, we think it makes sense to draw attention to this,” Ryuskin said.
KPN and Albert Heijn, also major sponsors, are campaigning on social media only. In addition, AH created the Summer Allerhande with the Orange Lionesses and participated in events, including Orange Fan Day and the Netherlands-USA match, which are watched live.
You don’t want to miss the mark either. To go big, but do nothing for the whole World Cup, and you’re left with all sorts of tools
So there’s no savings campaign, with male shoppers still — well, that’s the final comparison — receiving free orange patches with their grocery purchases. “If Albert Heijn becomes a big success, the company wants to see immediate growth,” explains sports marketer Roen Baumeister. “But you don’t want to miss the mark either. To go big, but do nothing for the entire World Cup, and you’re left with all sorts of tools.” This sports marketer describes the choice of online campaign and event support as “safe.”
According to sports marketer Frank van den Wall Beek, it has to do with the goal of the campaign. “ING does it from a social point of view and for its image. Whereas a company like Albert Heijn wants to score instant results on the shop floor. He says scoring is now more difficult in women’s football than in men’s football. “I also think we should Compare the two as little as possible. Men’s football is a completely different world, with big, established stars.
Although the women’s team has well-known names, such as Lieke Martens and Jackie Groenen. “Show those faces. Make sure they become recognizable national champions,” advises sports marketer Baumeister. Because the World Cup four years ago was missed for a lot of people. Moreover, there are many new women in the team who are not well-known.
Baumeister also believes that this World Cup cannot be compared to men’s football. “You’re just not worth it. It’s taken decades for men to become a big sport like this. That takes time, and the vast majority aren’t ready for that.” What’s more, women’s soccer has a completely different audience, says Baumeister. “It’s smaller; There are more families. It’s not like we collectively fire up the barbecue and all watch the game like this.
The Ether Advertising Foundation (Ster) previously announced that advertising time sales are also not booming in competitions. Due to the large time difference with the host countries, women have to play either at night or early in the morning. Very unfavorable times, notes sports marketer Van den Wall Beek. “Viewing numbers are going to be disappointing, and sponsors know it too.”
Orange fans living in Marktweg in The Hague confirm this. During the European Championships and the Men’s World Cup, they decorated their street so lavishly that it was voted the most beautiful orange street in the Netherlands several times. But this World Cup will not turn their street into a sea of orange, says Danny van Dijk, one of the leaders. “We’ll do something, but it won’t be as extreme as what we do with men.”
How exactly does this happen? This orange fan finds it difficult to express this in words. “We will watch them, because we really enjoy women’s football. But they play at very strange times and you hear very little about them.” Moreover, says Van Dijk, there are hardly any oranges in the stores. “With the men you always see flags and the like in everywhere. So it also depends a little bit on the shops.
But who knows, as sports marketers say, there will be more orange madness in the coming weeks. Baumeister: “Last time it became more lively when the Lionesses advanced in the tournament. The flame of the Orange Women is still burning among a group of Dutch people.
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