Winning brands focus on the goal at FIFA 2014 | DMA

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Winning brands focus on the goal at FIFA 2014

There is much talk around major Championships about which brands ‘win’, and inevitably league tables are produced with non-sponsor brands usurping official partners. It’s an easy story but with little depth.

From a sponsorship perspective, what matters is whether those brands that have invested in the FIFA World Cup, or the Olympics for that matter, have achieved their own specified objectives. Their opportunity is so much greater.

Has the alignment with football helped the brand, humanising an otherwise corporate giant in the eyes of its consumers, customers, employees and key stakeholders? Has the opportunity for engagement driven brand growth and advocacy? Has the business grown and comparative sales increased against the same period the previous year? Has the partnership helped the business launch new products or enter new markets? Has the investment been profitable?

These are the things that matter. I’m sure Castrol couldn’t care less where they rank against McDonald’s or Adidas, or Nike or KFC in a social media buzz chart. It’s guaranteed that brand comparisons are made across categories and between sponsors and non-sponsors with the challenge against the value for money of a FIFA sponsorship.

The major Championships provide a wonderful focus for us all and, as such, brands take up the challenge to be creative, meaningful and entertaining. There are some wonderful examples of brands’ creativity and storytelling around the FIFA World Cup, and some less good (you know the ones, usually with top footballers in them trying to act). Here are just a few to choose from, my personal favourite is the emotive film for Beats by Dre, what’s yours?

Beats by Dre:

Nike ‘Risk Everything’:

Adidas ‘All In or Nothing’:



McDonald’s ‘Gol’:



Paddy Power:

Carlsberg ‘Fan Squad’:

Budweiser ‘Believe as one’:

Banco de Chile:


There are countless more films and ads from brands trying to align themselves with the football, as there will be in 2016, 2018 and beyond.

The more complex and bigger challenge is to maintain the creativity and connection away from the major Championships. Can brands hold the attention and continue to be meaningful irrespective of whether they are sponsors or not? Let’s see what happens after July 2014.

By DMA guest blogger Rob Mitchell, Sponsorship and Marketing Consultant, RJM Consulting and DMA Brand Activation Council member

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