Skip to main content

November 13, 2023

In India, legions of fans have enjoyed a multi-week sporting extravaganza during the ICC Cricket World Cup, with matches taking place in cities from Chennai to Delhi. Friends and family gathered to cheer for their teams, companies organized outings, enthusiastic fans travelled from overseas and host cities buzzed with excitement.

A large-scale sporting event brings excitement -- and it also brings an economic boost. The deluge in activity leads to increases in consumer spending across industries, particularly hotels, restaurants and sports merchandise stores.

History is often a great predictor of what is to come and to understand the potential economic impact of the ICC Cricket World Cup, it’s useful to look at previous sporting events.

  • The India Premier League (IPL) — Analysis of aggregated and anonymized Mastercard data finds that the IPL series played earlier this year led to a 25% increase in in-person average daily spend in restaurants during match days vs. non-match days.1

  • The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup — The event, hosted in Australia in 2022, saw a surge in cross-border spend by South Asians travelling to different cities across the country where matches were hosted. Hotels, restaurants and sporting stores benefitted. Aggregated and anonymised Mastercard data suggests an increasing growth in spend2 in hotels and restaurants from the beginning of October by outbound travellers from South Asia, peaking in the first half of November 2022.

growth in spend graph

But the boost isn’t limited to sporting events. Concerts, large conventions and trade shows, fairs and exhibitions can all impact spend in lodging, restaurants and retail.

These events present retailers with a golden opportunity to capitalize on the uptick in spending to boost revenues and make the experiences memorable, whether it be a major concert visiting their city, or a World Cup match.


Capitalizing on the uptick in spending

Few experiences are as energizing as watching a World Cup match and event. Retailers can tap into this energy through strategies ranging from special promotions and discounts to travel packages.

Here are a few ways brands leverage major events:

  • Extend operating hours to accommodate fans who want to shop before or after the event

  • Organise contests and giveaways, such as trivia quizzes where winners can receive prizes, discounts or free products

  • Use social media platforms to engage customers with real-time updates, contests or to encourage user-generated content

  • Launch advertising campaigns that leverage the event’s popularity

  • Promote offers including food purchase and merchandising goods

How a convenience retailer saw a 2% sales increase with an offer during a major sporting event

Overcoming the challenges of marketing during a major event

While effective marketing during a major event can provide a boost to sales, numerous brands will also be vying for your customer’s attention. Consumers may already be overwhelmed by the volume of ads they encounter, so it becomes critical to stand out in a crowded environment.

Here's how one brand broke through the noise with a well-thought-out social media campaign.


How a global bank broke through the noise with relatable content and created over 250 million impressions

One global bank aimed to drive spend on its card portfolio in India by raising visibility and consumer engagement with an ongoing social media campaign. The successful campaign was extended into Diwali to further draw customers with fresh and festive content that tapped into the excitement of this key annual festival.

Helping customers feel the excitement of a major event – even if they can’t attend

Not everyone can attend an event in person, but brands can help bring the event to fans. Making people feel like they’re part of the event can contribute to the overall strategy to capitalize on an event and create an impact for the brand. Add to that the continued consumer prioritization of experiences over things – a sticky preference that emerged after Covid mobility restrictions eased – and brands have an ideal opportunity to make deeper connections with their customers through events.

Some brands provide interactive content on their website or app, such as an event-specific game. Others share real-time match updates with statistics, insights, polls and interactive quizzes. Many offer exclusive event-related merchandise like giveaways or for people to wear while they cheer on their team from home. Whatever the tactic, brands can make major events a meaningful and fun part of the customer journey.


How a Premier League football team crafted personalized experiences around major events, increasing conversion rates and revenue per session

A consistent fixture atop the Premier League table, Tottenham Hotspur is a football club in North London built on the motto “To Dare Is To Do.”

Tottenham selected Dynamic Yield by Mastercard, which helps businesses algorithmically match content, products and offers to each customer across any digital channel to increase revenue and drive loyalty. To bolster the club’s e-commerce business, a cohesive, personalised customer journey for each visitor was created.

Tottenham and Dynamic Yield reimagined the mobile website, optimised the conversion funnel and crafted unique experiences around major events, such as match results and the launch of new uniforms, known as a “kit launch.”

Personalisation paid off, delivering positive ROI in just one month thanks to notable increases in conversion rates and revenue per session.

By personalising experiences at every stage of the conversion funnel, Tottenham created a seamless shopping experience for club supporters across devices.

Analysing results

Major events come up with some regularity, and after the event, it’s essential to analyse the results and adapt your approach for the next one. Understanding if the resources invested were justified and if your messages and visuals were effective are important steps in ensuring that future campaigns can be even more impactful.


How a CPG company measured the $1.3 million impact of game-day ads

For a major U.S. football game, a leading consumer packaged goods company (CPG) in the U.S. purchased an ad segment.


Major events ultimately bring every type of consumer to the field. Companies seeking to capitalise on festivals, holidays, sporting events, concerts and more can get their brands on consumers’ minds with event-driven retail campaigns.

Boosting sales around major events requires deftly aligning your brand with the excitement and enthusiasm surrounding these events. By bringing your customers into the energy around the event, brands can increase their visibility and sales opportunities. Finally, measuring and analysing enables a brand to track the success of its strategies and refine the approach so that future events can only be bigger opportunities for boosting sales and engaging customers.

Request a demo to learn more about how we support brands across a range of industries.


Other reports & insights:

How the ICC Cricket World Cup benefits the Indian economy 

Top retail trends in 2023 | Mastercard Data & Services

The restaurant marketing guide to engagement and loyalty


1event period: IPL matches +/-1 day in respective cities, comparator set: June - July 2023
2Indexed to the same month in 2019

Related resources

Cricket blog world cup teaser
How the ICC Cricket World Cup benefits the Indian economy

The ICC Cricket World Cup brings people together and has a positive ripple effect on local economies. How does the event benefit the Indian economy?

retail trends 2023 tile image
Top retail trends in 2023

What are the top retail trends in 2023? From data-driven customer experiences to loyalty beyond points, learn the six trends that will drive retail's identity in 2023.

restaurant teaser
The restaurant marketing guide to engagement and loyalty

Many restaurant loyalty programs are undifferentiated, struggle to drive desired behaviors and can leave customers wanting more. A guide for marketers to implement an effective solution.