SBD/June 5, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

World Cup Flush With Blue-Chip Companies As Event's Advertising Reaches Super Bowl Status

Several Olympic and Super Bowl sponsors like Coke are linked to the World Cup
So many "blue-chip marketers are climbing aboard the bandwagon" for the '14 FIFA World Cup that the list "resembles a roster for a premier marketing opportunity like the Olympics or the Super Bowl," according to Stuart Elliott of the N.Y. TIMES. Kia Motors America's World Cup campaign, by the David & Goliath agency, is titled "For one month, let's all be futbol fans." Sportscaster Andrés Cantor and his son, Nicolas, are featured "in a commercial, in English and Spanish, in which the younger Mr. Cantor drives a 2015 Golf GTI as he listens to his father enthusiastically call a match." The "punch line of the spot" is that the senior Cantor "is not on the car radio but seated next to his son." VW's campaign also "includes a sponsorship of an interactive, eight-episode unscripted reality series about soccer, 'Every Street United,' a show from Xbox Originals." Other sponsors of the Microsoft series, which will run from June 15 through early August on platforms like Xbox One, Xbox 360, Skype and Bing, "include Kraft Foods, McDonald’s and 20th Century Fox." Mondelez Int'l's campaign is "centered on a dedicated website" and uses the hashtag #PassTheLove. Marriott Int'l's campaign by IMG Live, presents U.S. D Omar Gonzalez and ESPN analyst Alexi Lalas "as 'defenders of travel' and will be mostly online, featuring the hashtag #TravelVictories." Listerine also will have its "first-ever World Cup campaign." The campaign, "using the hashtag #PowerToYourMouth, is being handled by a digital agency, MRY, and will play out in real time online through social media." Another "sign of the arrival of the World Cup onto the Mount Olympus of marketing is that several official sponsors of the Olympics or Super Bowl are also official 2014 World Cup sponsors, among them Visa, McDonald’s, Budweiser and Coca-Cola" (N.Y. TIMES, 6/5).

J&J's DIFFERENT WAY: AD AGE's Michael McCarthy noted Johnson & Johnson, the official health-care sponsor of the World Cup, is "kicking off its U.S. marketing effort for the games by hardly mentioning" the soccer players or Brazil itself. It is instead "breaking an online video ... called 'Once Upon a Care' that asks Mom and Dad if they are doing enough to inspire their children to care about others." One of the "few references to World Cup on the website is a small, green and yellow FIFA World Cup Brazil logo with a line noting that J&J is official health-care sponsor." While J&J "is low-keying its World Cup connection in the U.S., it will be far more upfront on the global stage in Brazil." For example, J&J's medical team "is working with FIFA to standardize the medical bag that team doctors will use to treat players injured on the pitch" (, 6/4).
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