Saturday, June 10, 2006

World Cup Fever Goes Digital and Mobile

SINGAPORE: A recent online 5-country survey revealed China is set to catch a strong dose of World Cup fever, with 95% of respondents preparing to follow the tournament, of which 32% plan to track results on their mobile phones.

On average Chinese fans plan to watch over 11 nights of matches on television, and 84% plan to visit sports websites for World Cup news. The games will also be followed closely in Singapore (84%), Malaysia (82%), Australia (63%) and Thailand (59%).

World Cup goes digital in Asia Since World Cup 2002, penetration of digital media, including the internet and mobile phones, has increased substantially across the region, and fans intend to use both to track the matches. More than half of the respondents are likely to visit websites to follow their teams. Official World Cup websites were cited as the most likely destinations in Singapore (67%), Malaysia (71%), Thailand (46%) and Australia (57%), but Chinese fans are most likely to head to other sport websites (84%).

A surprising number of Asian fans are preparing for 'World Cup information on the go' using their mobile phones, ranging from 32% in China, to 14% in Singapore and Malaysia, 10% in Australia and 7% in Thailand.

"The only thing Asians are more passionate about than the World Cup is their mobile phone, so it's not surprising to see so many fans starting to track their teams in real-time,
on-the-go," said James Chadwick, MindShare Asia-Pacific Insights Director. "It's just another reminder that we need to think beyond traditional marketing and media."

You'll never walk alone in Asia Although their teams may not have qualified this time, fans across Asia have picked favorite teams to support. Many Chinese will be supporting the hosts Germany, Singaporeans favor England, and many Thais will be adopting underdogs Australia. Australian fans of course will be firmly behind their team, which has reached the World Cup finals for the first time in 32 years, and 80% of Australians fans will be cheering for the Socceroos.


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