World Cup Sponsors: A Primer

With the World Cup on the doorstep, we thought we would discuss some of the sponsors and sponsorships that are an enormous part of the money making power of the tournament. Our survey of non-soccer fans has identified Gatorade and and Red Bull as prominent soccer sponsors, yet neither will feature prominently during the World Cup.  FIFA sponsorships are big business and only a select few can join those storied ranks. Click on our Twitter feed on the right to see some of the new World Cup commercials from around the world.

Tier-One FIFA World Cup sponsors pay almost $125 million for the right to reach 30 billion sets of TV eyeballs and almost 3 million stadium attendees.  Add in the enormous investment necessary to leverage the FIFA relationship (through ad materials, hospitality events, commercials, etc…) and only a serious company can join the elite group of eight World Cup partnerships offered by FIFA.  It was therefore surprising when it was announced that little known Chinese renewable energy company, Yingli Green Energy,  had joined titans such as Budweiser and McDonalds in the upper echelon of sports sponsorship.  The deal entitles Yingli to stadium advertising, the use of the FIFA mark, prime real estate in fan zones and much more.

Few events offer the worldwide reach of the World Cup and Yingli is taking an enormous gamble that sports fans will bring market share.  According to the Sports Business Journal, “Yingli signed its World Cup sponsorship because it believed soccer’s popularity would help the company raise brand awareness in key markets such as Germany, Italy and Spain, and potential markets such as Brazil and Africa.”  In addition, Yingli is hoping to develop relationships with other business and business leaders to increase brand awareness and sales.   Yingli develops, manufactures and sells photovoltaic modules and trades on the NYSE.  The company joins new MLS sponsor Continental Tire (a lower level World Cup sponsor) under the FIFA umbrella.

Some other World Cup sponsorship notes:  McDonalds will be leveraging its World Cup sponsorship around the world….but not in the United States.  For a new adidas ad, click here.    For an entire list of FIFA sponsors, click here.

Soccer Business Bits: Deals, Deals Deals

galaxyMLS promotions departments are working overtime to bring fans to the stadiums.  In Los Angeles, the Galaxy are offering a free ticket promotion for all season ticket holders.  Specifically, each season ticket holder is getting an extra ticket for the upcoming Galaxy home game against the Red Bulls.  As we discussed yesterday, Galaxy attendance figures are way down this year.  After efforts to package the AC Milan game with other matches, the team is now trying to sell tickets as as stand alone event.

The Rapids are offering a promotion for their Galaxy game called the River Runners Family Pack.  The package includes 4 tickets, 4 hot dogs, 4 sodas, and 4 tickets for a whitewater rafting trip.  The package is going for $69 and the rafting trip must be taken on one of four Rapids Family nights on the River. In a remarkable feat of promotion overload, during the same game, the Rapids will be holding a British Heritage Night, Play Clean Night and Night of Champions.

Finally, in Columbus, the defending champions are offering package deals involving a scarf commemorating the championship season.  Interestingly the tickets are being offered in minium blocks of 4, with the cheapest package including 4 tickets and 4 scarves for $76.  There is nothing unusual in these promtions. Teams the world over work hard to brings fans to the games.  However, teams are showing a good amount of creativity in putting together these promtions.  As we noted yesterday, attendance is down and teams must explore all options to keep fans coming.  crew-jersey