Last Sunday, my mother-in-law asked, “What is up with all of the attention those Beckley people are getting?” “Beckley?” I asked. “Yeah, that British couple. There was a big to-do about them in this week’s Parade, and she has some show on t.v.” "Ah. Not Beckley. Beckham," I said.
Tag: World Cup
For all the hype about cross-platform media measurement in recent years, there hasn't been much progress made. From Nielsen and Arbitron's aborted $45 million-plus market-research initiative Project Apollo, canceled in 2008, to the year-old Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement, still months away from launching its first major study for its 22 members, most efforts have been slow at best. So it's no small feat that Walt Disney Co.'s ESPN was able to pull off something of a media miracle this past summer. ESPN XP, the company's landmark research initiative launched in conjunction with the World Cup, was the first program of its kind to track event-based cross-platform media behavior in the U.S., recruiting 15 different research partners and nine major sponsors including Cisco, AT&T, Sony and Anheuser Busch.
All across the planet, entire nations were gripped by every moment of the FIFA World Cup, while here in the States another early exit by the U.S. side virtually guaranteed four more years of American indifference toward the sport of soccer. But even the most ardent soccer novice can admire the sports marketing successes of this global spectacle. So here are five World Cup lessons you might consider incorporating into your own marketing efforts.
With approximately 2.6 billion people worldwide following the 2010 World Cup, the spectacle has been a field day for marketers, each trying to connect their brand with the strong emotions fans have for their favorite teams. But the stakes are particularly high for those brands that actually sell football gear. Two contenders, Adidas and Nike, each have a shot at becoming undisputed market leader when the whistle blows on July 11 and the final game concludes. Coming into 2010, their records show them evenly matched: each is estimated to have earned $1.5-1.7 billion in football merchandise sales in 2008 and 2009, and each controls about a third of the total market.
Much virtual ink has been spilled over how the viral potential of online video can be a potent ambush-marketing tool at big events such as the World Cup. But new research from Nielsen on the 2010 FIFA World Cup shows that, while web video can be a potent ambush tool in the run-up period to a major event, it's a lot less effective than an official sponsorship once the games start.
I'll never forget attending my first World Cup game. It was back in 1994 and took place in my hometown Rose Bowl, the same field where I marched in gleeful pride at Pasadena High School's graduation. Romania squared off vs. Argentina. The game was nothing short of electrifying. Back then my word-of-mouth trajectory seemed unlimited. Armed with both AOL and Compuserve accounts, my post-game "dude, I was there" viral dispatches flew across my network of friends, family, business-school classmates and fellow P&G summer interns with almost unrestrained velocity.
The giveaways are part of Coke's biggest marketing campaign, with World Cup-themed events and advertising spanning 160 countries. The beverage giant won't disclose its World Cup spending, but IEG LLC, a Chicago company that tracks and analyzes corporate sponsorships, estimates the company has poured as much as $600 million into the World Cup. That figure includes $124 million for sponsorship rights and as much as $475 million spent on marketing globally.
In case you missed it, the beer company arranged for 36 rather attractive blonde ladies to wear snug fitting, orange dresses during the Netherlands vs. Denmark match. Now, there was no Bavaria branding apart from a tiny and invisible tag on each dress. And orange is the Dutch team's colour. Despite this, FIFA saw it as a threat to Budweiser, the official beer. They marched the girls out. And arrested the 2 ring-leaders, or cheer leaders should I say. Amazing. There was a resulting frenzy of TV and news coverage, all promoting the Bavaria brand.
Coca-Cola saw “phenomenal” results from its first experiment with paid advertising on Twitter, the drinks company’s digital marketing chief told the Financial Times. The US soft drinks company is only the second brand to sponsor a “trending topic”, using Twitter’s “promoted tweets” to tap into online discussion about the World Cup this week.
Nike is leveraging the success of its 2010 World Cup Write the Future ambush marketing effort with a campaign extension that promotes HIV/AIDS awareness in partnership with (RED), above. The pro-social message, which stars soccer icon Didier Drogba, is particularly apt in Africa as "ground zero" for the global AIDS crisis. Adidas CEO Herbert Hainer isn't too worried; he expects the brand's official World Cup sponsorship to blow past projections, having already garnered almost $2 billion in sales.
From now through July 11, the world will be engulfed by the sports spectacle of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The full tournament lasts a month and begins with 32 nations. But as Molly Maixner, brand marketing manager for Adidas soccer, explains, planning for and maintaining a presence at the World Cup is a 24/7/365 challenge with high stakes not only for players and coaches but also for marketers that have paid significant dollars to become official global FIFA partners.
When Landon Donovan scored a winning goal yesterday in overtime, he put the U.S. World Cup team at the top of its group for the first time since 1930. And people who never cared about soccer were suddenly talking about it everywhere in the media. Some of them might even start watching World Cup 2010. To the soccer newbie, the World Cup might seem like just a bunch of guys running and kicking the ball, but watch a few matches, and you’ll see the mindset and behaviors required to win. And you might actually learn a little about business, too.
The dramatic ending to the World Cup match between the USA and Algeria could set a new record for Internet traffic. We’ve been watching Akamai’s Net Usage Index, which tracks visitors per minute on more than 100 of the major news sites in Akamai’s network. In the minutes following Landon Donovan’s game winning goal in the 91st minute of action (which sent the U.S. to the round of 16), traffic spiked to 11.2 million visitors per minute, which moves the event past the 2008 presidential election as the second highest traffic spike of all-time.
France's World Cup campaign, crippled by dire performances on the pitch, internal strife and a players' strike, went from bad to worse yesterday when Crédit Agricole pulled an advertising campaign and sponsors demanded action by the country's football authorities. The French bank said it had stopped the advertising campaign - due to run until June 25 - early "in view of the current controversy surrounding the French national team". The team's corporate sponsors have held conference calls to voice their anger at the players' refusal to train. One person who took part in the calls said that the sponsors believed the situation was "unacceptable".
The best kind of content you can have is a combination of what you organize -- mostly by building the context and providing something for people to do and a system to capture what they do and play it back for them -- and what people contribute in comments, reactions, posts, etc. Football is a social object. It also generates a good amount of content, on both sides of the conversation, and builds buzz in the process.
Nike’s Write The Future campaign is taking an innovative approach by merging social media and World Cup activities to forge a truly interactive experience. Fans can submit a 57-character inspirational message through Facebook, Twitter, Mxitt (a South African social network), and QQ (a Chinese social network) and choose an accompanying picture of their favorite soccer player to have it headlined on the Life Center, one of Johannesburg’s largest skyscrapers.
While there is still plenty of football left to play, it looks like the FIFA World Cup games are already making marketing dreams come true: Adidas -- one of the major sponsors of the FIFA World Cup games -- says it has already set a new sales record, selling double the number of jerseys compared to the 2006 games.
World Cup goals may be few and far between, but soccer-themed TV ads are helping marketers including Sony Corp., Samsung Electronics Co. and Coca-Cola Co. rack up points with consumers. "Overall, the TV ads that were created specifically for the World Cup broadcast are performing as well as—or, in some case, better than—many of the Super Bowl commercials,'' says Peter Daboll, chief executive of Ace Metrix, a Los Angeles research firm that measures ad performance in the U.S. That's a high bar since the Super Bowl is widely considered the championship of American TV advertising.
At this year's World Cup in South Africa, which kicked off Friday, soccer's governing body FIFA is trying to squelch guerrilla-marketing tactics by those who haven't paid for official sponsorships. It created new "exclusion zones" that restrict companies from advertising close to its venues and hired agents to help enforce the zones. But big-name advertisers including Nike, Puma AG, PepsiCo Inc. and others are finding ways to go over and around them.
Nike’s “Write the Future” 3-minute video campaign has attracted more World Cup-related mentions than Adidas, Coca-Cola, Sony and Visa, according to a new report by Nielsen. The video, which we discussed when it first launched, has created significantly more online buzz – based on an analysis of blogs, message boards and social networking websites – and developed more of an association to the World Cup than any other brand’s efforts to date.
The World Cup has long been a social experience for fans around the world who cheer their teams on at games, bars and other public gatherings. This year, brands are betting on a different kind of social to connect with fans in ways unimaginable just four years ago, when the last Word Cup was held. Coca-Cola, Nike and Anheuser-Busch are just some of the brands that have made YouTube an important component of their World Cup ad campaigns. Others, like Visa, have added Facebook to their efforts, while still others, including Microsoft, are tapping into the still-emerging field of location-based services.
Dodge's new commercial today touts the 2010 Dodge Challenger in a 60-second spot created in honor of the World Cup match between USA and England tomorrow — a fact it played up in its teaser for the ad, after the jump. The v/o: "Here's a couple of things America got right: Cars ... and freedom." Too patriotic for the brand, but par for the course at the World Cup? Tell us what you think, or flag a World Cup brand campaign that caught your eye with a comment below.
World Cup sponsors are tussling in a virtual battlefield to be the social-media marketing star of the global soccer championship beginning today in Johannesburg. But the early "winner" in buzz is Nike, neither a World Cup sponsor nor partner of the sport's governing body, FIFA. Social-media monitoring firm Meltwater Buzz looked at online buzz May 24 through Thursday for 11 top sponsors, partners and other key marketers and found outsider Nike had 26% vs. 20% for Adidas, a FIFA partner, and 11% for Sony, also a partner.
The world’s most widely viewed sporting event, FIFA World Cup 2010, begins today. And for the first time ever, the World Cup is playing in the digital age. During the last World Cup, social media was barely kicking: Twitter hit the field on July 2006; Facebook wasn’t public until September 2006. In 2010, it’s a whole new World Cup.
World Cup mania is about to begin and that means one thing: it’s a social media branding opportunity! On Friday, in time for the first kickoff, Bing is going to release a World Cup badge on Foursquare which can be unlocked by people who follow Bing on the service.
Walt Disney Co.'s ESPN network has convinced three major advertisers to produce expensive 3-D commercials for its new sports channel debuting Friday with the 2010 World Cup broadcast. It is the first major test of marketers' appetite for 3-D pitches. Procter & Gamble Co., Sony Corp. and Disney's Pixar will all experiment with spots on the new 3-D sports channel. ESPN has previously aired several 3-D telecasts, including the Masters Tournament.
The first decisive marketing goal of World Cup 2010 was scored nearly three years before the opening match of the soccer tournament, in which Mexico will face South Africa on Friday. It came when Nike, the American sports shoe and clothing maker, acquired Umbro, a British supplier of soccer gear that is a longtime sponsor of the English national team. The deal signaled a new determination by Nike to challenge Adidas, the German soccer apparel powerhouse, on its European home turf.
The FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour winds its way through South Africa on its way to the tournament's opening match in three weeks, and marketers have begun ramping up their own World Cup promotions. From soda to athletic gear to high fashion, the World Cup is providing fodder for merchandise design, proving that sports is the world's language -- as long as you're talking commerce. Even the soccer clueless, who can’t distinguish between Ronaldo and Drogba, will be able to get a hit of that African rhythm, as close as the mall or the grocery store. In the next few days, we'll take a look at how a few companies have tackled World Cup design bonanza. Coca Cola, the official beverage sponsor of the games, began its massive roll-out of a world wide campaign months ago. With a visual identity created by Attkik, the UK-based design firm, the company's signage will be distinctive and ubiquitous.
Global marketers such as Coca-Cola, McDonald's and Nike are describing the 2010 FIFA World Cup as a larger event than even the 2008 Beijing Olympics. That scale -- combined with the intensity of interest in the sport, the national pride of fans and the fact that it's the first major global sporting event ever held on the African continent -- figures to sell a lot of sneakers and soft drinks.
FIFA’s World Cup presents its hosts with, what they believe to be, their biggest ever opportunity to build a stronger country brand. That’s a shame because, despite its growing popularity and firm establishment within marketing, the business of “country branding” or “nation branding” is nonsense. Countries are not brands. They are countries. Brand strategy should be reserved for brands. I may have a hammer, but it doesn’t mean that every problem is shaped like a nail. Real expertise in a field is to know the limitations of that field and behave accordingly.
The upshot: By next year A-B will be the official beer sponsor of the nation's top four team sports, the NFL (as well as its Super Bowl broadcast and 28 of its 32 teams), the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League, as well as the PGA, LPGA, Major League Soccer, UFC, the AVP Tour and the U.S. Olympic Committee. And, as if that weren't enough, parent Anheuser-Busch InBev is the official beer sponsor of this summer's World Cup, an event that will be viewed by half the world's population.
The 2010 World Cup will have the world abuzz once again with soccer fever and the passionate displays of nationalism that accompany it. And brands are going to be paying attention to that fervor -- for obvious reasons. This summer, ESPN will undertake one of the most ambitious efforts ever to track media consumption. If the cable network succeeds, it could usher in an entire new era of understanding how, and calculating how many, viewers consume specific media in a fragmented age.
The South African low cost airline Kulula.com has gotten itself in trouble with Fifa for its new airline promotion. "A multimedia marketing campaign that featured advertisements with the headline, the Unofficial National Carrier of the You-Know-What, showing stylized pictures depicting the Cape Town stadium, soccer balls, vuvuzelas and a soccer player has been withdrawn following a letter from Fifa threatening the airline with damages."
As the first project in its new GeoBranding Center, the CMO Council (CMOC) is partnering with South Africa to measure the impacts of the country's branding efforts and co-sponsor a crowd-sourcing advertising contest leading up to the FIFA World Cup tournament this summer. The council is forming the GeoBranding Center as a global knowledge resource center dedicated to the marketing of countries, destinations, places of origin, attractions, venues and locations. Geobranding experts and marketers will be invited to contribute insights, opinions, case studies and best practices, and a series of research initiatives will explore the impact of campaigns using B-to-C and B-to-B digital and traditional advertising and marketing campaigns. The center's microsite will launch March 15.
In the brand's first major U.S. Hispanic venture, Unilever's Degree Men deodorant is crafting an eight-week TV show around soccer players hoping to qualify for Mexico's World Cup team. Each episode of "Frente al Reto" ("Face the Challenge") focuses on a different Mexican player, starting this week with Andres Guardado, who is also Degree's spokesman and stars in a commercial for the brand. The series ends March 29 with Jose Francisco "Gringo" Torres, who faces the unusual dual citizenship dilemma of having to choose between the U.S. and Mexican World Cup teams (spoiler alert: he picks the U.S.).
Anheuser-Busch InBev has kept largely mum on its marketing plans for this summer's FIFA World Cup, but it tipped its hand a bit late Friday when agency DDB put out a casting call for an apparent Bud-themed reality show. "Budweiser is looking for passionate fans of each of the 32 FIFA World Cup qualifying countries to participate in the ultimate football getaway!" read the notice that was posted online. "If you are selected to represent your country, you will be flown to Cape Town, South Africa, for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Luxurious accommodations, thrilling excursions, and the opportunity to have the kind of access few fans ever have.