FIFA meets World Cup hospitality challenges

Barny Stokes’ analysis of the sponsorship potential of Germany 2006 was correct in its assertion that the event offers “huge marketing potential” (MW October 20). While marketing opportunities are considerable, the potential for corporate hospitality, particularly in a tournament being held so close to UK shores, is also huge.

A clear warning for UK marketers, however, was the failure to deliver at the last World Cup held in Europe (France 1998) – four separate corporate hospitality companies collapsed because they failed to obtain and deliver the match tickets.

Many thousands of business people not only missed the matches they had travelled to see but were left facing collective losses of millions. Even an official World Cup sponsor, who took guests to a match in Paris, had to resort to entertaining outside the venue and watching the game on TV. Put simply, it was a damn mess.

To prevent the corporate hospitality debacle that occurred in France, FIFA has appointed a number of reputable companies as official third-party agents in the UK for ticket and hospitality packages for the first-stage England group games at the 2006 World Cup. These packages are official and match tickets are guaranteed by FIFA.

While I have a vested interest because Circa Group is one of these appointed companies, it is important for your readers to know that bona fide official packages are available which guarantee that 1998’s fiasco will not be repeated.

John Hockey

Chief executive

Circa Group

London WC2

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