World Cup Fever Popping Up at Retail
By Tom Ryan
While bars in U.S. cities were packed with revelers riveted to
World Cup’s start this past weekend, evidence of the world-wide event was hard
to find at retail.
That’s a far cry from countries where soccer is a national
pastime. In England, sales this past Saturday tied to the England vs. U.S.A.
game were said to rival Christmas holiday selling, driven by sales of items
such as beer and meat for barbecues, jerseys and widescreen TVs.
But in an interview
late April with Brandweek, Reinaldo Padua, Coca-Cola’s
assistant vice president of Hispanic marketing for North America, said the
brand was widening its World Cup push in the U.S. because of the growing youth
"Our efforts in the past were usually more concentrated in the Hispanic
market. They are core fans of soccer," said Mr. Padua. "But with
the growth in the practice and popularity of this sport, we are at that tipping
point where during the weekends and in the summer you see soccer moms taking
kids to practices and games. We’re looking for how to fuel that active
living among their kids, and the company has decided to leverage that trend
and take this to [a more general] market."
"Companies are looking beyond the Hispanic market this year," John
Guppy, owner of the Chicago-based firm Guilt Edge Soccer Marketing, concurred
to The Christian Science Monitor. "It’s probably the first
time this has been a trend with direct corporate investment."
offline and online World Cup marketing efforts planned over the month-long
- McDonald’s restaurants in the U.S. are running a "Taste the Glory" campaign
with peel-off game pieces available on Big Macs and Egg McMuffins. Game pieces
include instant prizes or a special code to play EA’s 2010 FIFA World Cup
South Africa game online for a chance to win other prizes such as EA’s new
game, video game consoles, and tickets to the U.S. vs. Brazil game in New
York this August. Online, www.mcdonaldsfan.com is seeking out the "Ultimate
FIFA World Cup Fan" from each country.
- At participating Best Buy stores in Los Angeles and Miami, customers can
have their pictures taken in front of a green screen of a World Cup-themed
background. At CupisYours.com, fans can put themselves on a mock cover of ESPN
the Magazine while holding the Cup.
- Puma City NY at South Street Seaport in downtown Manhattan will be showing
all the World Cup games over the next month, as well as featuring DJ’s, musical
artists, foosball and ping pong tournaments, and athlete appearances.
- Sony launched its own "Twitter Cup" online in which national
teams compete in a virtual tournament based on how many tweets their teams
- Castrol, the lubricant manufacturer, has developed a "Castrol performance
index" at Castrolfootball.com to rate players based on how well they
play during the tournament.
- Coke’s "Longest Celebration" campaign on YouTube
encourages people to submit their own videos of goal celebrations and watch
- The "Bud House" online reality show features 32 people
— one from each country in the tournament — living together during the
Cup. Each member is kicked out as their national teams are disqualified.
Discussion Questions: Is marketing around the World Cup still mainly a Hispanic
opportunity in the U.S. or is it appealing to a wider audience? Have you seen
any innovative marketing around the World Cup?
- Stores look forward to
World Cup rush – The Financial
- Coke’s New World Cup Goal: Mainstream U.S. Consumers – Brandweek
Connects Customers Around the World With FIFA World Cup(TM) Excitement – McDonald’s/PRNewswire
- Best Buy and Sony Offer Exclusive In-Store World Cup Photo Experience for
Soccer Fans and Enthusiasts in Los Angeles – Best Buy
- Restaurants look to score sales goals during World Cup – Nation’s
- World Cup 2010: As viewers go online, so do ad dollars – The
Christian Science Monitor