2023 Preview: What Major Events are there This Year?

Looking Back on 2022

For so many people and for so many reasons, 2022 perhaps hasn’t been a year which will be remembered fondly. Dominated by the invasion of Ukraine in February and subsequent war, its repercussions have been felt far and wide. And while there is currently no end in sight to the conflict, nor the economic turmoil that has ensued, many people and businesses will be looking ahead to 2023 with cautious hope. 

For digital publishers, the tough economic climate and reduction in ad spend continues to have an impact. And while major events in 2022, such the war in Europe and the World Cup, have driven huge audiences online, ad demand hasn’t necessarily followed. The death of HM Queen Elizabeth II in September seemed to bring much of the world to a standstill.

What to Look Forward to in 2023

It’s true that 2023 lacks either of the two major global happenings of the last two years, namely, the Tokyo Olympics 2021 or Qatar World Cup 2022. However, there are still a number of landmark events to look ahead to, which are worth taking some time to think about with regard to content and more general business planning next year.

2023 is the Chinese year of the rabbit, celebrated on January 22nd by around 20% of the world population. In Chinese astrology the rabbit symbolises success and peace, for all zodiac signs. Let’s hope so!

A Digitised Coronation

Undoubtedly, one of the biggest planned global events in 2023 will be the coronation of King Charles III. This is set to take place on Saturday May 6th, and as the first British coronation for 70 years could be watched on TV by billions of people worldwide. It’s also the first such event in the digital era, and it’s certain that people will seek information about it online during the weeks before and after May 6th. 

Unlike the sombre period after the death of HM Queen Elizabeth II, there’s no reason to think that commercial activity will be reduced. Online ad spend, and a consumer feelgood factor (in the UK at least), could be boosted.

Upcoming Entertainment Events

Already creating a buzz in the UK before 2023 even starts is The Eurovision Song Contest, taking place just after the coronation on May 9th-13th. The most recent Eurovision winners, Kalush Orchestra, have been unable to take the event from their victory in Turin to where it should have been staged, in Ukraine. 

The UK will instead host the event, at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool. With 2 televised semi-finals before the final on Saturday May 13th, Eurovision 2023 will most certainly be an epic event, with fans worldwide engaging online in huge numbers.

2023 also sees a major anniversary in the sphere of entertainment – the centenary of Disney. The world’s most famous entertainment brand celebrates 100 years in 2023, with a year-long series of celebrations under the banner of 100 Years of Wonder. 

With events in Disney parks, a touring concert, and including Disney Plus, movies and D23, you can be sure that Disney fans will be engaged with relevant content as well as all kinds of affiliate offers.

The Major Sporting Events of 2023

Two major sporting events may go some way to filling the void left so recently by the 2022 Football World Cup. 

In summer 2023, the FIFA Women’s World Cup runs from July 20th to August 20th. For the first time it will be hosted in the southern hemisphere, held jointly between New Zealand and Australia. At the time of writing, it isn’t yet clear which channels in a number of countries will show the tournament, according to The Daily Mail

However, you can be sure that the growing popularity of the women’s game will ensure that audiences across all platforms for relevant content are significant, even if the match times aren’t well suited to European viewers. The fact that the Lionesses’ Beth Mead was crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2022 is testament to the increased level of excitement about the women’s game. 

Finally, autumn 2023 sees France hosting the Rugby World Cup. This will be for Rugby Union, as opposed to Rugby League, whose delayed 2021 World Cup took place in the UK in 2022. The tournament runs from September 8th to October 28th, with 20 teams competing at 9 venues nationwide. Given its location, it’s likely that France will host rugby fans from all over Europe (as well as the world), and that it’ll be great for sport and news publishers alike.

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