SBD/April 11, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

ESPN Expecting Higher Ad Sales For '14 FIFA World Cup Compared To '10 Edition

ESPN President of Global Customer Marketing & Sales Ed Erhardt said that the net "is seeing significantly higher ad sales" for the '14 FIFA World Cup in Brazil compared to South Africa in '10, according to Michael McCarthy of AD AGE. Erhardt added, "Demand is strong. We've got very little inventory left." He said that the "more favorable TV time zone of Rio de Janeiro is certainly helping to attract advertisers," but added that there "are other trends at work." McCarthy notes more U.S. TV nets are showing more MLS matches -- as well as EPL and UEFA Champions League matches -- "than ever before." Erhardt: "It's clearly resonating as a sport that's mainstream in this country now." He said that FIFA sponsor adidas "is coming in heavy" with media buys. Other FIFA sponsors "expected to advertise" include Coca-Cola, Visa, Budweiser, McDonald's and Hyundai. Erhardt said that movie studios, telecom companies, men's grooming products, beer brands and tech companies "are all buying ad time across ESPN properties" (ADAGE.com, 4/11).

OPTIMISM RUNNING HIGH: The AP's Mark Long noted Nike co-Founder & Chair Phil Knight has “high hopes for the World Cup in Brazil this summer,” where Nike is “outfitting 10 of the 32 qualifying teams.” Knight, who was at Augusta National for The Masters, said, “How excited am I and how optimistic am I? Twelve out of 10.” Knight: "We think in terms of public perception, this [World Cup] will be the one where they see that we’re the leading soccer company” (AP, 4/10).
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