Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Will the real #WorldCup sponsors please stand up?

It appears that 38% of consumers in the UK, US and Brazil are mistaken in thinking that Mastercard is a World Cup sponsor according to research from GlobalWebIndex.  The genuine sponsor, Visa, scored just a marginally higher recognition at 42%.

The confusion doesn't seem to be restricted to financial products.  Other brands such as Carlsberg, Nike and Pepsi also performed well, although not as highly as the genuine sponsors Budweiser, Adidas and Coca-Cola.

These findings raise some important issues for marketers engaged in sponsorship of major international events.

On one level the confusion is understandable.  Let's face it, we're used to seeing these brands regularly paraded as sponsors.  Equally, many will have launched advertising programmes designed to appeal to soccer fans. Let's call it the 'ripple effect' - we simply assume their involvement because we're accustomed to seeing it or we closely associate them with our enjoyment of the event.

But equally, is sponsorship such a blunt tool, demanding an activation budget as great as the cost of the sponsorship itself, that it's value is diminished?  The question for brands considering sponsorship in their marketing mix is whether their money might be better spent elsewhere.

Friday, 13 June 2014

#WorldCup - where have the all B2B marketers gone?

Am I alone in thinking there’s been a muted response from marketers to the World Cup this time around? Even food retailers have managed to contain themselves to measured promotions of beer and snack foods in the run up to the tournament. And there’s been a small amount of advertising appealing to those who want to follow the action on big screen televisions or on the move.

But, where have all the B2B promotions gone? Where is the endless stream of emails attempting to make some connection, however tenuous, between a business product or service and the competition? Where are the online games?  Where are the mousemats, fixture charts and stress balls?

I can’t say I’m disappointed.  In fact I’m rather pleased that, at last, many B2B marketers have woken up to the fact that a major event like the World Cup doesn’t necessarily demand their attention if their product or service is completely unrelated to what the average customer will be focusing on during the tournament. And many will have realised that achieving standout in the fog of World Cup promotional activity is best left to those with relevant products and deep pockets. About time too.