World Cup Ads Of Non-Official Partners Raise Sponsorship Questions
Beats Electronics "is not an official sponsor" of the World Cup, according to Anne Peterson of the AP. It has not, however, "stopped the company from marketing its way around sponsorship." And it is not "the only one doing it, prompting questions over how far soccer's international governing body can go in preventing non-sponsors from capitalizing on the World Cup, and whether pushing the boundaries of so-called 'ambush marketing' diminishes the value of formal sponsorships." Baker Street Advertising sports marketing specialist Bob Dorfman said, "Obviously the big events are being watched by hundreds of millions of people, and (the World Cup) is the kind of event that everybody wants to be a part of in some way. The ambush marketing becomes a way of getting in there and doing what you can without having to pay the big price, and maybe looking a little more clever in doing so.'' Nike sponsors several footballers "playing in the World Cup." The company "has produced several spots that also imply a connection to the tournament." But adidas "is the official FIFA sponsor." So far Nike "is scoring big with its non-World Cup World Cup campaign #RiskEverything." Nike is not "really going guerrilla in its marketing as much as some other companies." Nike VP/GM of Global Soccer Dermott Clearly said, "Although we're not a sponsor of the World Cup itself, we connect where it matters -- by partnering with clubs, federations, and elite and everyday players." FIFA "strongly condemned ambush marketing following an incident in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa when a group of 36 orange-clad women crashed a Netherlands-Denmark match to ostensibly promote a Dutch brewer." FIFA "vowed to crack down on non-sponsors again this year, going so far as to tape over the band name of the hand dryers in stadium restrooms" (AP, 7/5).