Feared advertising cuts for World Cup 2010

The biggest event in all of sports has nearly arrived, and no, it is not the Super Bowl. The 2010 FIFA World Cup hosted in South Africa, will take place this summer, and even soccer isn’t without its fair share of marketing strategies. FIFA has branded itself in a very distinct way that has influenced athletes and spectators for years. However, it has been a long four years since the last World Cup, and the economy has certainly changed.

The usual advertisers and sponsors such as Nike, Addidas, Coca Cola and McDonalds have had reservations about advertising strategies this year. Usually, companies begin producing soccer paraphernalia months to years in advance.  This is in compliance with World Cup advertising campaigns that do not allow for last minute decision making. Athlete sponsors are also arranged months previous to the event to ensure the effective selling of products. 

According to an article on ESPN, the problem advertisers are encountering this year is that they cannot guarantee efforts in marketing will actually generate high sales. This is a legitimate concern that companies such as Castrol have taken into consideration. This company created Castrol Performance Index, which is a “quantitative analysis that computes an efficiency rating for each player during each match of the current European qualifying campaign.”  In order to effectively market this proposal, Castrol also recently announced the signing of FIFA soccer player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo as a global ambassador. Selling is further guaranteed using this strategy because the player will simply self promote the product.

So as the World Cup draws closer, the feared drop in advertising spending may go one of two ways:

  1. Advertisers will continue to spend, realizing the World Cup still is and always will be a great opportunity to reach potential customers.
  2. Advertisers will choose to limit and reduce their campaigns, resulting in a serious decline of World Cup ad-related spending.

Whichever direction advertisers decide to turn, this year’s World Cup will be unlike any other year, pioneering new strategies and tactics for marketing campaigning.

Here is a MasterCard commercial from the 2006 World Cup.

Nicole Doherty, designer

Stephanie Saulsbury, writer

Lacey Inman, researcher