Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

World Cups, World Markets and Armed Gangs. SHARE WATCH Jeffrey Ball

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

World Cups, World Markets and Armed Gangs. SHARE WATCH Jeffrey Ball

Article excerpt

LIMBO is a harrowing place. Memories of the past are slowly fading while the uncertainty of what lies ahead leaves us restless.

Those who do not follow team sports cannot truly fathom the emptiness of this time between the the World Cup and the start of the new football season.

Reflection is a healthy diversio and closer inspection reveals there are more winners and losers other than Germany and Argentina. As we speak, economists and companies are analysing the tournament's financial, social and political impact and how it has reverberated around the globe. To paraphrase Bill Shankly, some believe football is a matter of results on the pitch. I can assure you, it is much more.

With the world's greatest football competition comes the world's greatest advertising push. One research house estimated $1.4bn has been spent by the top 20 sponsors alone at this year's. Amongst this group is Adidas, who will have been pretty content with the exposure of having both finalists wearing their famous three stripes. With an aim of [euro]2bn in revenue from football this year, they will have been happier than most the final went to extra time.

In America too, World Cup fever also caught hold. After several false dawns for the sport since it hosted the tournament in 1994, a remarkable 16-18 million people watched the US 'soccer' team in their last two games on the Disney-owned network, ESPN.

During the knock-out stages, South Korean phone giant, Samsung posted downbeat second-quarter earnings guidance due to increased market competition. On the flipside, they were an ever present in the ad breaks line up, showing off their latest model with the help of Rooney, Messi, Ronaldo and, er, Victor Moses. However, they were probably less than pleased the demand for their products in Brazil most notably took the form of an armed gang attacking their Sao Paulo factory, stealing $6.3m of gadgets in the most B-movie-esque of backhanded compliments.

Closer to home, JD Wetherspoon were left ruing an early England exit as summer trading took a hit with sales weaker in the aftermath. Tim Martin, Chairman of the pub group said: "If England had won the tournament the feel good factor would have been a minor plus. …

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