Watching the World Cup football in the wee small hours, I have been struck by something (other than the horrific refereeing and those damn horns): the tournament sponsors.
This Cup may go down as the real turning point in the global economy where emerging market brands (i.e. those from non-First World nations) stepped out into the public eye. Look at the list of official FIFA partners and sponsors (the ones exciting me are in green):
– Adidas (Germany)
– Coca-Cola (US)
– Emirates (UAE)
– Hyundai-Kia (South Korea)
– Sony (Japan)
– Visa (US)
– Budweiser (US-Belgium-Brazil)
– Castrol (UK – it’s BP-owned)
– Continental (Germany – auto parts and tyres)
– McDonalds (US)
– MTN (South Africa – telecoms)
– Mahindra Satyam (India – IT and consulting)
– Seara (Brazil – foodstuffs)
– Yingli Solar (China – solar/energy)
This contrasts very markedly with the list from just 4 years ago: Adidas, Budweiser, Avaya, Coca-Cola, Continental, Deutsche Telekom, Emirates, Fujifilm, Gillette, Hyundai, MasterCard, McDonald’s, Philips, Toshiba, and Yahoo!.
The BRICS firms (well, actually BICS) have stood up in joining the Emirates on the scrolling billboards etc. Building powerful, recognised brands will be the next important step for firms from these emerging giants.
Of course, hosting the tournament is a big rite of passage also (Brazil’s up next), and brands can piggyback on this opportunity. Disappointingly the local South African sponsors (beyond MTN – they are listed on the FIFA link) have not been particularly interesting or international in their focus.
I’m sure we’ll see more familiar brands come Brazil 2014 – Havaianas anyone?
Tags: Adidas, Anheuser-Busch Inbev, Avaya, Brazil, BRICS, Budweiser, Castrol, Coca Cola, Continental, Deutsche Telekom, emerging economies, Emirates, football, Fujifilm, Gillette, globalisation, globalization, Hyundai, Hyundai-Kia, International business, Mahindra Satyam, MasterCard, McDonald's, MTN, Philips, Seara, soccer, Sony, sponsorship, Toshiba, Visa, world cup, Yahoo, Yingli Solar