Magazine article Marketing

Even World Cup Sponsor Deals Have to Deliver

Magazine article Marketing

Even World Cup Sponsor Deals Have to Deliver

Article excerpt

Nobody, not even your thick-skinned columnist, likes being told they are an idiot. So you can imagine how carefully I read the letter from Richard Busby (Marketing, July 2) castigating my folly in taking on the $16.5bn global sponsorship industry by criticising World Cup sponsorship.

His arguments - charged, I fear, by self-interest - were neither novel nor susceptible to examination. First, he suggests that such a lot of money is involved in these promotions that they must be a good idea - a line of thinking which can be applied with equal force to landmines, or for that matter crack cocaine.

Second (many people have been at pains to point this out before) he suggests that I am too stupid to understand these things. What sponsorship buys, he explained with infinite patience, as to a small child, is the "acquisition of the rights of association". And third, the way this is exploited in the marketing mix delivers the return on investment.

But the keenness with which I read his comments was nothing to that I applied to reports showing that most of the [pounds]600m invested in World Cup links was probably wasted.

For a start, the 12 official sponsors of France '98 put up [pounds]250m in order to get two-thirds of viewers unable to remember their names and 55% to get them wrong. So this, I said to myself, is what Busby was trying to explain to silly old me: you spend [pounds]50m and nobody associates you with anything. Actually that's unfair; there were more complaints about Vauxhall's nasty little sponsorship spots than anything else. …

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