The FIFA game series is one of the most popular in the world, so it’s that time of year again, no not Autumn, FIFA 19 is out this week! A new version of the game has been released every year since 1993…so how do EA create such a buzz around it every year?
I will be looking at the marketing development of FIFA over recent years, and I want you to ask yourself, could you possibly do something similar for your business?
You can tell that the marketing team at EA are a company who truly understand their target audience. This is highlighted by their marketing strategy. They recognise that their target audience is young males between 12 and 30, however in 2013 the Spanish professional women’s footballer Vero Boquete started a petition for EA to introduce female players in to the game. The petition attracted 20,000 signatures in 24 hours! EA had clearly listened to their audience as 2 years later, FIFA 16 was released on the 25th September 2015 and the game featured female players. Also, implementing female players in to the game may encourage more women to buy and play the game, therefore EA are widening their audience.
Another example of EA being able to understand their target audience is there are usually a few advertisements across social media specifically Facebook and Snapchat. 70% of Facebooks users in 2018 are 16-22-year olds. 78% of snapchat users are aged 18-24. The adverts are responsive and allow anyone to click and buy or pre order the game through the social media platform. This advertising worked effectively to increase awareness of the game and created a buzz around it. EA also interacted with their audience before the release of FIFA 17 following a poll to discuss who the audience wanted to see on the cover of the game. The importance of this process is that EA engaged with their audience to understand what they want and then implemented it – simple, yet effective!
FIFA has been met with competition in recent years by Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer, but FIFA is always ahead with sales rising as much as 23% year on year. In 2010, FIFA had sold over 100 million copies making it the best-selling sports video game series in the world. After selling 3.2 million copies in the first week of release of FIFA 12 EA Sports said it was the “most successful launch in EA Sports history”.
So, why is FIFA so popular? Well one of the most important ways in which they increase the excitement around the launch of FIFA is using influencers. In 2012, EA sports signed Messi to be the cover star of the game, by doing this they lured him away from the Pro Evolution Soccer franchise and because he was known as one of the best footballers in the world, many football lovers look up to him so without realising are drawn to FIFA rather than PES. This is something you would think would have been part of FIFA’s marketing strategy, we are not saying you need to invest in celebrities to promote your brand, but finding some influencers within your industry could be a great shout.
FIFA 19 introduces the UEFA Champions League, Europa League and the super cup for the first time in to the game. The title is ‘Champions Rise’ because of the introduction of the champions league. Also, the launch trailer features a few of the biggest names in football, again by using these high-profile footballers within the launch trailer a lot of football fans idolise them so want to buy the game just because they are the faces of it. The Video promotes itself by showing how the game empowers football fans to be better than their heroes. It challenges fans to upstage the world’s best footballers. Basically, the game is portrayed in the launch trailer as being realistic, so it feels like you are in the game.
Overall, FIFA truly understands the audience that they are trying to attract and therefore the best ways in which they can engage and influence them. This enables them to create a slightly altered and better game every year and still convince almost every young football fan across the UK to part with £50. They market their product extremely well and reap the rewards.