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SBD Global/June 20, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

Magazines Vie For World Cup Ad Dollars With Digital Offerings, Special Features

While TV will "reap most of the benefit" of advertising dollars around the FIFA World Cup, publishers "both online and off are fighting for their share of the windfall, not only covering the matches but also introducing websites, digital magazines and branded-content campaigns" dedicated to the event, according to Michael Sebastian of AD AGE. Sports Illustrated "bumped up its soccer blog Planet Futbol to become a new section on the magazine's website." SI reps said that brands "including Degree, Edge Shave Gel and Canon have signed on as sponsors." Elsewhere, Men's Health has "simultaneously published its first single-topic digital edition, a guide to the World Cup." The issue is "free on the iTunes store," with Rogaine as the "sole sponsor." The digital edition "has been downloaded 30,000 times." But the stakes "might be highest for publishers that already focus on soccer." ComScore data showed that Goal.com "attracted 1.4 million unique U.S. visitors from desktop and mobile devices in May, up 42% from May 2013" and has a "significantly larger audience globally." Goal.com has "inked ad deals with Puma, Sony, Samsung, Hyundai and Gatorade around the World Cup." Sporting News Media Division CRO Rich Routman, whose company owns Goal.com, said that the site "filmed, produced and distributed soccer videos to support Gatorade's 'Unreal Around the World' campaign." Meanwhile, Brazil forward Neymar "arrived on a number of magazine covers in the U.S., including WSJ, a monthly magazine inside Wall Street Journal weekend editions." He also "appeared on The New York Times Magazine, which put out three separate soccer-themed covers the week of June 6." The other two editions featured Portugal midfielder Cristiano Ronaldo and Argentina forward Lionel Messi. Bloomberg Businessweek "put out two of its own World Cup covers in May," featuring either Messi or Ronaldo (AD AGE, 6/19).
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