World Cup sponsors are happy bunnies

For me the World Cup is coming alive.   I have got over the disappointment over the manner of England’s exit and the early disappearance of my second teams:  the United States (where I have lived and worked) and Chile (which I have visited twice recently and met the then President).   Germany’s demolition of a talented Argentinian team showed just how good their young team is, particularly with the skill and creativity of Schweinstiger (and gives me another team to support on the ‘lived and worked’ criterion).   Perhaps Englands’s 4-1 [4-2] defeat doe

For me the World Cup is coming alive.   I have got over the disappointment over the manner of England’s exit and the early disappearance of my second teams:  the United States (where I have lived and worked) and Chile (which I have visited twice recently and met the then President).   Germany’s demolition of a talented Argentinian team showed just how good their young team is, particularly with the skill and creativity of Schweinstiger (and gives me another team to support on the ‘lived and worked’ criterion).   Perhaps Englands’s 4-1 [4-2] defeat doesn’t look so bad now.  

The first half between Spain and Paraguay was dour, but there was plenty of excitement in the second, although I’m not sure that my choice of a rather lacklustre Spain as eventual winners in a prediction competition run by my boss was a wise one.   We may be heading of a re-run of a the Germany v. Holland final I remember from 1974.

The World Cup also seems to be capturing the imagination of viewers.   The television audience for every match but one has attracted a larger audience than for the 2006 World Cup in Germany.   And that means that sponsors are feeling good about the money they have spent.   Overall, the tournament has attracted nearly $1 billion in sponsorship.

Fifa’s six partners such as electronics giant Sony and the airline Emirates pay an average of about $110m per tournament.   They receive about nine minutes of pitchside advertising per match.   Eight other international sponsors pay about half that receiving in exchange four-and-a-half minutes per game, while eight so-called national supporters pay less for less coverage.

The sponsors seem to be happy with the results they are getting.  Adidas has won back marketing ground in its needle battle with Nike since the tournament began despite (or perhaps because of) all the controversy about the match ball.   Emirates thinks its coverage has been worth everything it has paid, allowing it to reach 2bn people.   According to a comment made by an Emirates spokesman to the Johannesburg paper Business Daily to get the amount of exposure the World Cup has provided would normally cost about $3bn.   

Another partner is Visa and they reckon that spending on branded payment cards in South Africa is up by 65 per cent since the World Cup has started compared with the sane period last year.  However, that could be in part because there are more international visitors there than would usually  be the case in the winter.

One of the attractions for brands is getting a foothold in the host country market and in Africa more generally.   They see it  as a potentially large and untapped market.   Many Africans are, of course, living on less than $2 a day or even less than one $1, but particularly in South Africa, there is an emerging middle class who are likely to want to buy consumer products.   International brands often appeal to young people in particular.

Coca-Cola has kitted out 1,000 caf├ęs and similar venues in poor black townships with big screen televisions so that patrons can watch the World Cup games.   Its good public relations, but it also seems to have stimulated sales of their products.

Leave a Comment