Ok it starts today a football tournament in Brazil.
But for the sponsors who invest so much in the beautiful game is it the end of a long road? There is a lot going wrong with FIFA The World Cup, particularly compared to the Olympics, the Rugby World Cup and other high profile sporting events.
Firstly there is Sepp Blatter FIFA head honcho being battered in the press stridently resisting calls to resign/not stand again and apparently attempting to deflect suggestions of corruption in the bidding process that resulted in a country with no football history, no league system, no stadia and no chance of hosting in the usual summer months winning the bid. A decision so outrageous that the award of the games to homophobic, misogynist, racist Russia has gone uncommented on!
Then there is the hostility to the games in Brazil the football loving host nation another major own goal, alongside unfinished infrastructure projects and stadia..
But the main reason for sponsors to be somewhat jaded is not the politics or the quality of the event it’s the ambush taking place across the UK of the event by others. Compare the iron fisted policing of Olympic rights to the way it is easy to circumvent the World Cup Rights.
Check out Currys and PC Worlds advert – even heralded in the marketing press as a World Cup advert, are they sponsors – are they hell? Have they broken the law? Definitely not a great advert taking advantage of the event. Why can they do this? Because it is an ad about football not the world cup. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sD35neLs1lg
One of our clients, Cook Italian is running a Facebook competition to take advantage if the England Italy clash and offering an official Adidas World Cup as a prize. All legal, no problem, just taking advantage of the event for a very low cost investment. And my hairdresser was creating a world cup window this morning. Whilst “Mankind” hairdressers and a Cook Italian competition may not on their own bother the sponsors I might suggest that the weight of this ambush will have an effect.
The problem for football is it is ubiquitous; you cannot copy right football or even a football tournament. Whereas the Olympics – well it is almost bomb proof.
And the moral of this blog is – be creative where there is a will there is a way. Unless of course you are a world cup sponsor in which case it is never trust Sepp Blatter.