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SBD/Issue 189/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing
Women Ejected From WC For Wearing Brewery-Designed Dress
Published June 15, 2010
|Bavaria Brewery Behind Distribution
Of Orange Dresses Worn By Dutch Fans
Thirty-six Dutch women were "forced out" of Soccer City stadium during yesterday's Netherlands-Denmark match "and held in a FIFA office for several hours for wearing an outfit designed by a Dutch beer company," according to a front-page piece by Angelique Serrao of the Johannesburg STAR. The dress "was part of a gift pack bought with Bavaria beer in Holland as part of the build-up to the World Cup." Bavaria Chair Peer Swinkels said that there was "no branding on what has been described as the first real World Cup dress, but it was well known to be part of Bavaria beer in Holland." FIFA has said that the dress "is part of an ambush-marketing campaign it would not allow at matches." Netherlands fan Barbara Karstein said that a FIFA official "came up to her and told her she was not allowed to wear the dress because it was from Bavaria, and the women had a choice: leave the stadium voluntarily or they would be forced to leave." Karstein added that those wearing the dress "were taken to a FIFA office and interrogated about the dress for several hours." Karstein: "The police came and kept on asking us the same questions over and over, asking if we worked for Bavaria. They said we were ambush marketing and it was against the law in South Africa." FIFA said that Bavaria has a "long history of trying this marketing technique at sports events." Serrao notes at the '06 World Cup in Germany, Dutch fans "wearing Bavaria-branded orange lederhosen with a tail representing a lion were told to take the pants off at soccer matches" (Johannesburg STAR, 6/15). Budweiser, an official World Cup sponsor, "is the only beer company allowed to advertise within the stadiums." FIFA "fiercely protects its marketing interests, which are a major cash spinner for the organisation" (AFP, 6/15).
FOR MORE FROM SOUTH AFRICA: For more World Cup coverage, please see other stories in today’s issue on Hyundai pulling an ad amid criticism from Catholic groups, South Africa team merchandise selling quickly, viewership being up through three days on ESPN and Univision, ESPN’s on-air talent garnering positive reviews, AT&T Park drawing more than 20,000 fans for a public viewing of Saturday’s game, police taking over security at two venues, FIFA citing tradition in not banning vuvuzelas and late-night talk show hosts discussing soccer.