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Upgrading Competitiveness with World Cup

2010-05-04 15:47 BJT

Chen Gang, Deputy Director of School of Journalism and Communication, Peking University

The FIFA World Cup is so powerful that it can change the world and influence the entire human beings. In this sense, it is the most valuable and most rare marketing resource on the globe.

As a marketing strategy, there are many ways for companies to take part in the World Cup, e.g. title sponsorship, superstars, franchise and advertising product designs. But how to utilize these elements in a comprehensive way, in my view, is mostly dependent on media communication.

Media communication is the most pivotal link in a sports marketing strategy, enabling companies to expand their BTL (below the line) advertisements to do more on this platform. Without question, TV is the biggest star among all forms of media with its unparalleled expression of passion, dynamism, colors and particularly, by the way, some more wild passion in this year’s South Africa World Cup.

For Chinese people, TV is a main channel to know sport events. As shown in a TNS survey on 15-40 Chinese age groups in 2009, TV ranks the first in their sport event accessibility channel, followed by graphic media and the Internet in sequence. When talking about using media, we need to talk about using TV; if we talk about TV, we have to talk about how to use CCTV, the biggest TV media platform irreplaceable in China. We may have a look at the audience data in the three sessions since 1998: CCTV audience share and audience rate rose evidently even in slots when the HUT (homes using TV) hit a day’s low during the event.

How could companies upgrade competitiveness with the World Cup? I think the most important is to establish a correlation between their brand and the World Cup with tailor-made advertising designs. Meanwhile, proper combinations of time slots and forms of advertising are indispensible. Now I would like to share a few of tactics and related practical cases.

Tactic 1: Full Coverage. China Mobile, one of the largest corporations and the most famous brands in China, made very good use of CCTV broadcast platform in 2002 and 2006 World Cups. For instance, it launched a ubiquitous “GoTone – I am there” title sponsor ad campaign which was present before the opening of the grand event, delivering strong feeling of onsite presence and fully expressing the product features and brand connotation of GoTone series. Monternet, another brand under China Mobile, by organizing football fans World Cup quiz contests with the “World Cup Fans” title sponsorship, effectively integrated BTL ad resources and further expand the value of World Cup dissemination.

Tactic 2: Fast Aggression. Nike, despite its importance, is kept out of the sponsorship framework for ad communication because it is not an official World Cup sponsor. However, it has always been able to create highlights. During the 2002 World Cup, it sponsored a five-player football games which was the first time in China and put it in prime slots of the World Cup matches. In 2006, it tailor-made a global “Beautiful Football” campaign by making legally authorized uniforms for Brazil. The US$70 strip earned money from countless audience and fans.

Tactic 3: Double Promotion. Hyundai Motor has made full use of the World Cup to promote brand popularity and reputation. It was among the top 10 global sponsors in 2002 and top 4 in 2006, and may be even more outstanding in 2010.

Tactic 4: Flank Break. Septwolves is a set local example which gained wide popularity in 2002 by pouring huge resources in World Cup sponsorship. In 2006, the upgraded sponsorship made it the most fashionable leisure garment brand in China.

Tactic 5: Superstar Effect. China Unicom took the 2002 World Cup opportunity to launch a massive ad campaign on CCTV, familiarizing the domestic customers with “Unicom New Horizon CDMA” concept within very short time. In 2006, it obtained a non-conventional good effect with World Cup ad shot by Yao Ming, China’s top basketball player, reinforcing its efforts on sport resource utilization.

Passion is the motivity for dreams to come true. On occasion of the passionate World Cup, we must be prepared to fully upgrade competitiveness via CCTV.

Editor: 张昀 | Source: