World Cup Study: Beaten in US Search During World Cup

New Adthena study reveals key search trends in jersey and ticket sales, streaming battles and more for leading sites during the 2018 FIFA World Cup

Adthena, an AI and machine learning-powered search intelligence company, today announced a new study examining US search activities during the 2018 FIFA World Cup. For the study, Adthena analyzed more than 40,000 paid ads – across desktop and mobile – during the event from June 25-July 10, 2018. and Dominate England Jersey Search in the U.S.

Per Adthena’s findings, and dominated market share in the US around search terms having to do with purchasing an England jersey — one of the most popular teams and a semi-finalist at the event.

  • dominated on the term ‘Where can I buy England jersey,’ maintaining approximately 50% of the market share during the event, achieving its highest market share (65%) on July 1st and July 6th — the day prior to England’s semi-final.
  • For the term “England Kit” — a term used largely by English fans living in the US — Adthena uncovered that handily beat on the term during the event reaching a high of 45% and a low of 28% market share, while achieved a high of only 30% and low of just 5%.

“As the manufacturer of the England jersey, Nike clearly made a heavy push in search around the England shirt, and their efforts seemed to have really paid off,” said Ashley Fletcher, VP of Marketing, Adthena. “However, what is really surprising is how was able to beat out, one of the foremost retail giants worldwide. A lot has been made about Amazon’s power as a search force, so to see them beaten relatively easily in regards to the England shirt is definitely an upset.” Beats in Early Event Streaming Searches

With the rise of streaming services, some of the most contentious search battles emerged around the “Where can I watch the world cup” term per Adthena’s findings.

  • dominated the early search competition on the term “Where can I watch the world cup” hitting a high of 53% market share on June 26th, and maintained a lead over for a majority of the event — with surpassing it on select days.
  • However, did eventually surpass on July 7th for good, 25% to 12% respectively. then maintained its lead through July 12th when withdrew itself from the competition on the term.

“Streaming was an incredibly exciting area to watch in search given this was really the first World Cup where it played a significant role in how fans watched the event,” said Fletcher. “And the search competition definitely didn’t let us down, with two of streaming’s ‘heavy hitters’ and really vying for position, with largely edging for most of the event.”

StubHub Averages 55% Market Share for ‘World Cup Tickets’ Searches

Adthena’s study also revealed the and were the two primary players in “World Cup Tickets” searches.

  • largely was the leader for the term ‘World Cup Tickets’ maintaining an average of 55% market share throughout the event, with a high of 71% on July 1st.
  • did make a strong push, however, periodically surpassing on June 26th (46% to 42%) and June 29th (49% to 44%) before surpassing it for good on July 8th (63% to 57%). Viagogo gained its highest market share on July 9th with 64%.

“The ticket space was one of the key areas that search professionals were focusing on during the event,” said Fletcher. “ and really emerged as the only two large competitors throughout the World Cup in the US, with managing to retain a pretty large market share throughout even if it was eventually surpassed by in spots.” and Hit 90% Market Share

The air travel space was one of the most competitive areas in search during the World Cup, with,, and others engaging in a fierce battle for supremacy on the “Cheap flights to Russia” search term.

  • The battle between and was the most competitive on the term with both and taking the first two spots on the term throughout the event.
  • and hit 90% market share on the day before the semi-final round began (July 9th) — the highest market share for any company competing on the term during the World Cup.
  • Prominent player only hit a high of 60% market share (on July 2nd), with a low of 5% on July 5th.

“Air travel was again one of the more intriguing areas to watch in search around the World Cup, given and were able to edge out bigger competitors than,” added Fletcher. “This definitely points to the fact that companies that have a strategic approach to search can find significant success, especially during large events.” and Win Rental Car Race

Per the study, the search competition surrounding the term “Rent a car Russia” was some of the most contested in the US market.

  • and emerged as the most dominant players on the term and were neck-and-neck throughout the event in terms of market share. Kayak reached its highest market share on the day before the semi-finals (July 9th) with 80%. Economycarrentals hit its highest percentage on June 30th with 83%.
  • Several Russian car rental sites also engaged in the competition as well in the US with being the most consistent performer throughout the entire tournament with a high of 33% market share on July 12th, a few days prior to the kick-off of the third-place match and final.



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