Fifa goes retro for World Cup brand building

Fifa is to use brand assets from previous World Cups in the run-up to 2014.

Fifa is to use old posters and logos in its merchandising campaign ahead of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Football’s governing body will use posters, logos and other visual material from past World Cups in its merchandising programme ahead of the next World Cup in Brazil.

The move aims to boost merchandise sales during what the organisation calls the “off-years” between each tournament where there is less attention on the World Cup brand.

Speaking to Marketing Week ahead of the Brand Licensing Europe conference later this month (17 October), Ralph Straus, head of strategy and brand management, says the initiative is part of wider strategy to make “storytelling” a more prominent part of how it markets the World Cup. This will include building a narrative around the tournament’s signature product, the mascot, which was revealed last month, as well as the trophy.

He adds: “From a product point of view, [the strategy] won’t just be about putting an emblem on a t-shirt or a cap. It’s about celebrating the World Cup history and the legacy. There will be storytelling around the Fifa World Cup and around what’s happening in Brazil through the merchandising programme and the retail experience.”

The announcement follows a major review of Fifa’s licensing strategy earlier this year that saw the organisation take its international licensing programme in-house to accelerate a global roll-out of dedicated retail outlets.

Marketing will gradually ramp up ahead of December 2013 when the draw for the tournament takes place.

“We’ve secured the intellectual property rights for pretty much all the Fifa brand marques from past events, though there are still some discussions going on to secure some marques”, says Straus.

“We’re conscious not to go into the market and offer the marques to pretty much anybody and just make products with it and start selling. It needs to be part of an overall concept and it needs to be carefully tested so we can see what works and what doesn’t and where it brings most value both to consumers and to Fifa in helping to build a legacy and brand awareness for the World Cup.”

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