World Cup Study: Amazon.com Beaten in US Search During World Cup

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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.

Nike.com and Fanatics.com Dominate England Jersey Search in the U.S.

Per Adthena’s findings, Nike.com and Fanatics.com 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.

  • Nike.com 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 Fanatics.com handily beat Amazon.com on the term during the event reaching a high of 45% and a low of 28% market share, while Amazon.com 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 Fanatics.com was able to beat out Amazon.com, 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.”

Fubo.tv Beats Hulu.com 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.

  • Fubo.tv 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 Hulu.com for a majority of the event — with Hulu.com surpassing it on select days.
  • However, Hulu.com did eventually surpass Fubo.tv on July 7th for good, 25% to 12% respectively. Hulu.com then maintained its lead through July 12th when Fubo.tv 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’ Fubo.tv and Hulu.com really vying for position, with Fubo.tv largely edging Hulu.com for most of the event.”

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

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

  • Stubhub.com 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.
  • Viagogo.com did make a strong push, however, periodically surpassing Stubhub.com 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. “Stubhub.com and Viagogo.com really emerged as the only two large competitors throughout the World Cup in the US, with Stubhub.com managing to retain a pretty large market share throughout even if it was eventually surpassed by Viagogo.com in spots.”

Cheapoair.com and Justfly.com Hit 90% Market Share

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

  • The battle between Cheapoair.com and Justfly.com was the most competitive on the term with both Cheapoair.com and Justfly.com taking the first two spots on the term throughout the event.
  • Cheapoair.com and Justfly.com 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 Kayak.com 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 Cheapoair.com and Justfly.com were able to edge out bigger competitors than Kayak.com,” 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.”

Kayak.com and Economycarrentals.com 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.

  • Kayak.com and Economycarrentals.com 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 rentexpress.ru 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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