SBD/June 18, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

Coke, Budweiser, Nike Keep Activating Around FIFA World Cup Despite Protests In Brazil

Budweiser is holding World Cup parties atop the Hotel Pestana in Rio
Coca-Cola, Budweiser and Nike have "launched brand experiences for World Cup fans unperturbed by the protests," according to Julie Ruvolo of AD AGE. Just behind Maracana stadium, Coca-Cola has "unveiled a four-story house where visitors check out the view from the roof, peek in on the Coca-Cola.fm studio, strap into a virtual experience scoring the winning goal on the field, and of course, browse the gift shop and pick up a free Coke on their way out." Visitors are "let in 22 at a time and guided through the house from roof to gift shop in timed increments." The main attraction is "the locker room, where you buckle your seat belt, put on Coke goggles, and enter a virtual reality of cartoon soccer players heading onto the pitch to the roar of thousands of cheering fans." All this is "followed up by the requisite product placement," including Powerade during a break and bottles of Coke afterward. Meanwhile, Budweiser has "done a full takeover of the beachfront Hotel Pestana, installing massive flatscreens over the hotel entrance and rooftop pool, blanketing everything black and red, and building out lounges on three floors." The only people "allowed to join the party are guests of Budweiser, including all hotel guests over the 32 days of World Cup." The brand has "so far hosted parties featuring Fat Boy Slim, Nicky Romero and June's Playboy Playmate of the Month." Nike, which is not an official FIFA or World Cup sponsor, has "taken over a massive warehouse in Rio's port area for Casa Fenomenal, a hypercolor mish-mash of futsal tournaments, foosball, Xbox One FIFA14 games, dribbling competitions with a real-time scoreboard, passinho (dance craze) battles and live shows every Saturday night of World Cup" (ADAGE.com, 6/17).

SOCIAL STUDIES
: Budweiser’s #ManoftheMatch hashtag on Twitter had its biggest day on Monday, with 2.3 times as many tweets as the previous four days of the World Cup, according to an analysis of social media by Atlanta-based consulting and marketing firm CSE. The largest volume of tweets with the Budweiser hashtag occurred during the Germany-Portugal match. Meanwhile, Degree, which is a sponsor of the U.S. men’s national team, used a live guest tweeter during the U.S.-Ghana match. Former USMNT player and current Fox Sports analyst Brian McBride was live tweeting throughout the match, and the company’s feed ended up with 75 tweets for the day. Prior to that, @DegreeMen had averaged around four tweets per day from June 1-15. Nike Soccer also was tweeting during U.S.-Ghana, and during the middle of the match tweeted out “#RiskEverything for redemption. #usmnt,” along with an image of U.S. F Clint Dempsey. The tweet generated over 15,000 engagements, more than double any other tweet from the feed since the start of the World Cup (CSE).

MARKETPLACE CONFUSION: MARKETING magazine's Ben Bold cites GlobalWebIndex research as showing that 38% of U.K., U.S. and Brazilian consumers "mistakenly think MasterCard is a World Cup sponsor, with rival credit card brands Visa scoring just 4% higher recognition at 42%." Non-sponsor Pepsi, which has "been running football-themed advertising, scored the highest awareness as a World Cup 'sponsor' among US consumers." Nike, which last week launched "a humorous five-minute animated epic, was selected as a sponsor by nearly a third of UK and US consumers." Meanwhile, "a fifth of UK consumers also thought that Samsung is a FIFA sponsor" (MARKETINGMAGAZINE.co.uk, 6/18).
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