SBD/June 13, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

ESPN, Univision In Strong Advertising Position For Final FIFA World Cup Broadcasts

ESPN and Univision "are in a favorable advertising place" for the FIFA World Cup ahead of their contracts expiring after this tournament, according to Mike Reynolds of MULTICHANNEL NEWS. ESPN President of Global Customer Marketing & Sales Ed Erhardt said that the net "was in a very strong position with the event as 'interest in soccer and the World Cup is significantly higher than it was four years ago for ESPN.'" Univision President of Advertising Sales & Marketing Keith Turner: "It has been the most successful tournament to date for our company." Both ESPN and Univision "still have some units in reserve to capitalize on opportunities tied to the fortunes" of the U.S. and Mexico. Erhardt said that the lack of timeouts in soccer "limits commercials to pre-, post-game and half-time segments." He added that because of this, official FIFA partners, World Cup sponsors and other advertisers "have secured positions in linear shoulder programming," as well as WatchESPN, ESPNFC.com and ESPNFC. FIFA sponsors adidas (presenting sponsor), Kia (pre-match presenter), Hyundai (halftime presenter), as well as Anheuser-Busch, Coca-Cola and McDonald's "have secured significant positions in ESPN's World Cup coverage." Other key partners include Bacardi, Microsoft, Volkswagen, P&G, T-Mobile, Unilever, Pepsi, Nike, Apple, Gatorade, Subway and AT&T, "which is sponsoring ESPN's multilingual World Cup bracket predictor." Univision's lineup also "represents a cross-section of official tournament backers and other advertisers, spanning the gamut of categories" (MULTICHANNEL.com, 6/12).

IT'S AN AMBUSH! AD AGE's Michael McCarthy noted with the World Cup starting, Volkswagen rolled out its "ambush marketing plan for Golf GTI." VW's ad agency, Deutsch, L.A., will "dance around Hyundai's exclusive sponsorship of TV halftime shows on ESPN and Univision by inserting so-called 'Gooooooooolf Celebration Videos' on ESPN.com and Univision.com." When goals are scored, these digital banners "will pop up." Viewers "will see different-colored GTI's (matching the national colors of the country that scored) racing across the pitch." Instead of the "familiar fan cry of 'Gooooooooooooal' they'll hear 'Goooooooooolf.'" The company also is "planning a homepage takeover of both" ESPNFC.com on June 24 and ESPN.com on July 4 (ADAGE.com, 6/12). Meanwhile, AD AGE's Tim Peterson noted YouTube "will air ads during every World Cup match," and started doing so with Thursday's Croatia-Brazil opener. The ads "will kick off the campaign's second wave and promote channels for Vice News and Maker Studios' Epic Rap Battles of History." The spots "touting Epic Rap Battles will hit first and air to audiences" in N.Y., Chicago and S.F. A YouTube spokesperson said that the ads promoting Vice News "will follow in the coming weeks" (ADAGE.com, 6/12).
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