For one month beginning June 11, soccer fans around the world will be watching the World Cup, and international brands are already snatching up airtime in order to get their products seen.
Billed as the biggest international sports event, the World Cup games are set to run June 11 to July 11 in South Africa.
In the United States, the games will be broadcast on ESPN and, in Spanish, on Univision. Both networks are reporting “brisk” ad sales, according to the Hollywood Reporter, although much of those ads will likely be for food and beverage brands.
Among the few fashion-football tie-ins is Nike’s three-minute commercial, directed by Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu, the Oscar-nominated director of “Babel.” The ad features a who’s who of international soccer—including Ivory Coast’s Didier Drogba, Italy’s Fabio Cannavaro, Great Britain’s Wayne Rooney, Brazil’s Ronaldinho and Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, with cameos of basketball’s Kobe Bryant, tennis star Roger Federer, actor Gael Garcia Bernal and even Homer Simpson.
Although the ad focuses on the game—and the fame of its stars—there are plenty of shots featuring Nike’s famous swoosh. The high-ticket ad is a testament to the athletic apparel maker’s stake in football. According to a recent story in Slate, Nike’s soccer division generates $1.7 billion in annual revenue. And that’s not including its subsidiary Umbro Ltd., makers of England’s football uniforms, which Nike purchased in 2007.
Not to be outdone, Adidas, which is one of the sponsors of the 2010 World Cup, has released its own celebrity-packed ad. Adidas’ ad reworks footage from the original “Star Wars” to insert a host of stars—including soccer star David Beckham and soccer coach Franz Beckenbauer; musicians Snoop Dogg, Noel Gallagher, Ian Brown, Ciara and the Daft Punk duo (Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter); deejay Neil Armstrong; and actor Jay Baruchel—into the famous Mos Eisley Cantina scene from the film.
Adidas keeps its branding to a minimum in the spot, which was produced in partnership with “Star Wars” creator Lucasfilm Ltd.
The luxury-goods tie-in to the World Cup goes to Louis Vuitton, which designed the carrying case for the 2010 World Cup trophy. To highlight its involvement with the game, Louis Vuitton produced a soccer-themed edition of its Legends campaign. The accompanying website features links to videos of famous retired soccer stars Brazilian Pele, Argentinian Diego Maradona and French Zinedine Zidane playing a friendly match on a foosball table.
Published on June 7, 2010 at