Belgium becomes football world champion, at least digitally

November 21, 2022

> The big digital check for the World Cup by nexum AG
> Germany in 3rd place behind the Netherlands, but ahead of England, France and Spain

In the next four weeks, the sporting world champion will be determined among the best football teams. But already today a winner has been determined: the Royal Belgian Football Association (KBFV). It offers its fans the best digital offer. This was determined by the digital consultancy nexum AG together with kicker business solutions GmbH of the football magazine of the same name in a check of the digital competence of football associations participating in the World Cup. According to the results, the Netherlands will be the runner-up in the World Cup. The German team comes in third place, followed by England, France and Spain in fourth to sixth place. The categories examined were website, shop, social media, marketing spread and professional networks. “Belgium is the most convincing digitally in almost all categories of fan engagement. As the current runner-up in the FIFA world rankings, the Kingdom now has the chance to do the double: on the web and on the pitch,” sums up Georg Kühl, CEO of nexum AG, which advises companies with more than 250 digital experts in Germany, Switzerland, Spain and the Netherlands. Belgium secured a decisive lead over the competition at the Digital World Cup thanks to well thought-out information processing, effective support for visitors during their visit to the website and a modern, dynamic and sporty design language.

In the digital check prior to the World Cup, the digital presences of the football associations of ten nations were put under the microscope, selected on the basis of the FIFA world ranking list, and the best from all continents were to be represented. The result: The top places in the ranking are dominated by the European associations. Brazil, the current number 1 in the FIFA World Ranking, has to settle for 7th place as the best-placed non-European association. The places behind them are taken by Mexico, Japan and Senegal. Sebastian Hansen, head of the project at nexum AG: “The non-European associations are still not succeeding enough in driving brand loyalty across channels.” However, fluent transitions of the different info levels and the digital offers enabled a much better interaction with the fans. “There is huge potential here,” Hansen is certain.

A good digital performance enables the associations at the World Cup to present interesting content online even without live and media-broadcast events. “In this way, fans can be offered platforms for interacting with their association, regardless of location and around the clock,” explains nexum board member Georg Kühl. The German Football Association was particularly convincing in the Digital Check in the Marketing Spread category. For example, fans of the German national team are also offered all the tried and tested channels, selectable according to individual preferences. “This gave us a clear lead over our competitors,” reports project manager Sebastian Hansen. However, the fact that Germany did not come out on top was partly due to the visual presentation. Essential information options were difficult to find on the choppy website, so that fans overlooked them or could not make optimal use of them. Another point deduction is given because the DFB shop looks significantly different from the website. “Many users then quickly jump off. If the shop is operated by providers independent of the association, such a break in digital fan support is almost unavoidable,” analyses Hansen: “Therefore, associations should rely on their own e-commerce systems instead of external providers if possible.” If these are also integrated into the association’s own corporate identity, even better fan loyalty results can be achieved.

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