SBD/Issue 189/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

World Cup Marketing Notes: RSA Merchandise Flying Off Shelves

Demand Surging For South
Africa Soccer Merchandise

In Johannesburg, Lewis & Macupe report merchandise for the South Africa World Cup team has "become almost as rare as a ticket for the final on July 11." South African retailers "capitalising on the surge in national pride and soccer fever have had to increase orders to keep pace with the huge demand for soccer clothing." One store sold about US$13,000 worth of "branded 2010 T-shirts within an hour last week." At one Johannesburg outlet for South Africa-based clothing company Edgars, the "demand for branded clothing has seen items flying off the shop's rails." Edgars Exec of Footwear & Active Wear Hayley Kahn said that sales are "50 times more than what had been expected" (Johannesburg STAR, 6/15).

MONEY WELL SPENT? A MARKETING magazine poll, conducted by Lightspeed Research, found that brands "have yet to benefit from their sponsorship of the World Cup." MARKETING magazine's Nicola Clark notes the mobile research, conducted during Saturday's U.S.-England game, "shows that 88% of respondents did not feel that their opinion of the official sponsors had changed as a result of their link to the World Cup." Only 8% "claimed that sponsorship had a positive effect on their view of the brands, while 84% were no more likely to buy a brand in the future as a result of its sponsorship of the tournament." Clark also notes the poll found that there is "confusion over which brands are official sponsors" (, 6/15).

LARGER THAN LIFE: In Philadelphia, Kate Fagan notes an entire building in downtown Johannesburg is "covered in a 30-story Nike ad featuring the image" of Portugal F Cristiano Ronaldo. Ronaldo in the ad is "pointing heavenward, dripping sweat," and the caption "reflects Nike's line of advertising" for this World Cup, "Write the future." Fagan: "For better or worse, the vision dominates Johannesburg's skyline" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 6/15).

BLUE SKIES AHEAD: The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Yoree Koh notes Japan F Keisuke Honda, who scored the only goal in his team's 1-0 win over Cameroon yesterday, "has become a household name in Japan overnight." Fans pay about US$3.40 per month "to gain entry to the athlete's official website," but following Honda's "kick to fame, the earnings from his online business may conceivably be just a drop in the bucket compared to the endorsement deals and sponsorships likely to be thrown his way" (, 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, Dutch female fans being ejected for an ambush marketing effortviewership 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.

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