Big boys will still support World Cup

Your Cover Story, “World Cup losers” (MW July 9), largely misses the point about the corporate objectives of the 12 main investors in France 98. And, anyway, I suspect the failure of the UK adult population to name the official sponsors has more to do with the attention-span and memory retention of the average British couch potato than any failing of the companies involved.

As a winner of a competition in the Manchester Evening News I was lucky enough to travel to England v Tunisia courtesy of Snickers (Mars UK) and therefore saw at first hand the vast operational involvement of the sponsors in France.

I can assure your readers that if awareness of their identities has been low in the UK, it certainly isn’t in France itself. The physical and media presence – especially in Paris – is quite phenomenal and, in my estimation, probably outweighs the sponsors visibility in England for Euro 96 at a ratio of about 20 to 1 by comparison. And since England was only one of 32 countries taking part in France (with some 150 showing TV coverage), I don’t think the results of NOPs research will cause the sponsors too much lost sleep.

Following the Atlanta flop, and the perennial drug-abuse problems, the Olympic Games are considerably less attractive to sponsors. That leaves the World Cup as the only reliable sports event multinationals can use. Besides, the 40m average investment of the 12 sponsors of France 98 is peanuts to an organisation like McDonald’s, especially when it’s funded from a central budget and spread over two to three years. Multinationals need global vehicles like the World Cup – what else are they going to allot their money to? The already congested TV schedules?

Rest assured that, regardless of whatever NOP has discovered in the living rooms of Crawley, Crouch End and Crowborough, the big boys will once again be happy to pay the going rates for a slice of Japan 2002.

PS Rapaport

Sales & marketing director

Chancellor Formecon


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