It’s quite rare that a marketing idea stops me in my tracks and makes me say ‘wow’. That’s not because I don’t like ideas, I think it’s more because there are too many, well, crap ideas out there that they all tend to merge in to one giant crappy idea ball.

I could go on for ages about what makes a good marketing idea, but I won’t, and instead will just tell you the problem and the solution the idea delivered.

The Background: Fox Sports in the USA paid $400m for the US broadcast rights for the 2018 & 2022 FIFA World Cups.

The Problem: The USA team fell at the last hurdle in qualifying and didn’t make it to the 2018 tournament going on at the moment in Russia. The real problem for Fox being that the domestic TV audience was likely to be way down on the forecasts when they bid for the rights.

The Question: How could they fill some or all of this likely drop in audience?

The Solution: Work with a DNA analysis company (23andme) to let people look at their ancestry composition and work out a substitute team to support on Fox Sports during the tournament. You can read more about the idea here.

Is it going to make up for the millions of bucks lost? Of course not. But is it a great idea? I think so.

In case you’re wondering, I’ve got English, German and Polish DNA so I should have a pretty good World Cup even if the Big Red Machine doesn’t keep banging in the goals for us. COME ON ENGLAND!!!