England 2018 World Cup bid fails

English businesses will miss out on an estimated £3bn windfall after FIFA awarded the 2018 World Cup to Russia.


FIFA, world football’s governing body, made the decision despite the England 2018 team claiming that it could host the “most commercially successful World Cup ever”.

England’s bid scored 100% across the board for ticketing, TV and media rights, sponsorship, hospitality and merchandise/licensing, better than any rivals, including Russia, according to management consultants McKinsey.

The bid team had launched a charm offensive with David Beckham, Prime Minster David Cameron and Prince William all in Zurich this week to convince FIFA’s 22-strong executive committee that England’s bid was the best.

England’s hopes were hit earlier this week when BBC’s Panorama programme alleged that FIFA executives had taken bribes.

The news will disappoint bid sponsors Npower, British Telecom, PwC and Morrisons all of which will have been well placed to become local sponsors if the bid had been successful.

A Morrisons spokesman says: “1.6 million Morrisons customers backed the bid and we share their disappointment.  Morrisons will always back the nation.”

Kevin Peake, marketing director of npower, says that the bid team “did a great job to build a strong case for the country”.

“Npower has been a proud supporter of the England 2018 bid, and the team did a great job to build a strong case for the country to host the World Cup.  The decision is disappointing, not just for the country, but also for all of the small businesses in and around the host grounds, which we have been campaigning for as part of our role as official supporter of the bid,” he says.

PwC had estimated that the World Cup would bring retailers, hoteliers and pubs a net benefit of £3.2bn.

However, Simon Bassett, managing director of marketing recruiter EMR, says that the World Cup still provides an economic lift regardless of where it takes place.

“The marketing industry will do well out of the World Cup, despite England losing the bid. Remember, the extra money spent by consumers in the wake of the tournament is not all down to tourists coming to the UK and people going to watch the games in situ. Global brands need to get in front of the international audience – whether it’s being played in Belgium, Moscow or London.”

He adds: “UK consumers will still spend money in pubs and restaurants, postponing foreign travel and being uplifted by the competition to spend more. During Euro 2004 – which was played in Portugal – research from London Retail Consortium found this ’feel good factor’ boosted sales and activity generally in London, in areas such as food, drink, flags, t-shirts and souvenirs.”

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