Magazine article Marketing

Brands Kick off with World Cup

Magazine article Marketing

Brands Kick off with World Cup

Article excerpt

Brands kick off with World Cup

ITV's 1m [pound] sponsorship package is just a small part of the many global branding deals currently being drawn up for this year's World Cup competition Football, according to the late Liverpool manager Bill Shankley, is not a matter of life or death. It's far more important than that.

Not every brand manager would agree with that verdict. But commercial considerations have prompted a host of major corporations to sink millions of pounds into securing association of their product with this year's World Cup competition in Italy.

ITV is offering its own sponsorship package for its World Cup coverage to advertisers with a price tag of 1m [pound] plus. Negotiations have now reached the knock-out stage, with a winner likely to emerge in the next few weeks.

But despite the high profile ITV's novel World Cup sponsorship offer has achieved, the big money deals have been struck in the Swiss city of Lucerne. That is where the powerful sports marketing firm, ISL Marketing is based.

The company, jointly owned by sportswear manufacturer Adidas and Japanese ad agency Dentsu, has been commissioned by football's world-governing body the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), to handle official sponsorship rights for Italia 90.

The price tag on becoming an official World Cup sponsor stands nearer 10m [pounds] than the relatively modest 1m [pound] being sought by ITV. And yet ISL appears to have had little trouble attracting backing from classic global brands.

Japan has not qualified for this year's World Cup, and it is not a country noted for its love of soccer. But this has not prevented Japanese companies taking a major role in the opportunities associated with the World Cup.

JVC, Canon, Fuji, Seiko, Mars, Coca-Cola, Gillette, MasterCard, De Vini Italia and Anhauser Busch are all guaranteed brand exposure for their products. The rationale behind associating products with the World Cup is obvious. It is a sporting event which ranks second only to the Olympic Games in reaching a world-wide audience. Alitalia and Fiat also get a look-in, by providing goods and services and so acting as "supply" sponsors.

As with any major event, official sponsors risk losing "share of voice" in promoting their association because of the proliferation of outside commercial activity which can piggy-back the tournament. …

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