Sainsbury’s is unveiling England football star figurines as part of its official sponsorship of the World Cup team, but the range features two players who have not been picked by coach Sven-Goran Eriksson.
The miniature busts, supplied by Corinthian Marketing, went on sale in stores last week, before the England manager named his provisional squad for Germany on Monday.
Tottenham Hotspur players Jermain Defoe – picked in the stand-by line-up – and Ledley King were omitted from the squad, but included in the collection. Shock inclusions, such as Theo Walcott and Aaron Lennon, did not make the range.
The figurines were chosen by 2,000 Sainsbury’s customers who were asked to name their own England squad. The initiative follows a similar coin scheme by the supermarket for the European Championships in 2004. Alastair Marks, sponsorship manager for the retailer, says: “We took a chance and beat Sven to it. We knew he could surprise us, but we put our necks on the line and had two million player busts made.”
â¢ Asda says it is unable to finalise plans for World Cup marketing campaigns featuring injured England star Wayne Rooney. He signed up as the face of the retailer earlier this year, only to suffer a fractured foot a fortnight ago, threatening his chances of playing in the tournament.
Following a meeting between Asda marketing director Richard Hodgson and Rooney (MW last week), an Asda spokeswoman says: “It’s just ‘watch this space’ with Wayne at the moment. His involvement depends on how he is.”