Being an Englishman based in Edinburgh I know this can be a divisive subject, those of my Scottish friends who claim to support England in these tournaments when Scotland fail to qualify only marginally outweigh the numbers who flatly want England to fail miserably at the group stages!
But there’s a bigger prize a play, namely £1.33bn of incremental consumer spend predicted just for England turning up, and £2.72bn if they make the final (yeah right!) according to Centre of Retail Research and Voucher Codes.
While I am sceptical of the latter the economy would welcome a boost in spending, and you may be surprised to hear given the usual hysteria around Brexit/Trump/Russia headlines that consumer confidence has shown another rise overall with 5 of the 6 key markers showing improvement, so why not enjoy ourselves a little more in June and July whatever the football scores?
One business that will welcome the World Cup with open arms is ITV, with c. 50% share of games the extra revenue and viewers will give a welcome boost, with year on year revenues down 2.5% Jan-May but and this may surprise you overall adult impacts rising 4% YoY, yes you read that correctly rising!
The often promoted view that linear TV will be dead soon and replaced entirely by YouTube/Netflix/Facebook Live has thankfully not come to pass, while there is undoubted migration to Broadcast VOD (especially among younger audiences) there is still life in the broadcasters yet and live events like the World Cup create the type of shared viewing experience only large TV’s deliver (the average TV sold now is c. 39 inches!).
I for one am looking forward to World Cup 2018, low expectations of my team won’t deter me from seeing most of the world’s best players performing their magic, in front of my UHD widescreen (4k if I sign in quickly enough through iPlayer apparently) while imbibing the odd drop of alcohol and arguing with pals whether a 352 or 433 formation is best. I love World Cup summers………….