Thursday, May 20, 2010

World Cup Kicks Off Marketing Games on Epic Scale

CHICAGO ( -- Global marketers such as Coca-Cola, McDonald's and Nike are describing the 2010 FIFA World Cup as a larger event than even the 2008 Beijing Olympics. That scale -- combined with the intensity of interest in the sport, the national pride of fans and the fact that it's the first major global sporting event ever held on the African continent -- figures to sell a lot of sneakers and soft drinks.

"It's the No. 1 event in all of sports," Trevor Edwards, Nike's VP-brand and category management, recently told the company's investors, adding that the World Cup will be viewed by "half the world's population."

And it's why FIFA sponsors -- a group to which Nike doesn't belong, by the way -- spend up to $40 million for the privilege.

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