Nationwide says still in talks to sponsor England team despite crushing defeat

Speculation surrounding Nationwide’s plans for its long-running sponsorship of the England football team intensified this week after the national side was dumped out of the 2010 World Cup yesterday (27June).

World Cup England vs Germany
World Cup England vs Germany

Nationwide’s 11- year long contract backing the team comes to an end on July 1 (Thursday). The brand let its exclusive renewal negotiation period run out earlier this year amid reports that the two sides had differing ideas on financial size of the deal.

The failure of the England side to make any further headway in the World Cup is likely to have reduced the Football Association’s bargaining position. The building society maintains that it is still in negotiations and no decision has been reached.

Some speculate the FA is likely find the keenest potential partners within the ’new media’ sector, among brands ranging from social networking names such as Facebook to mobile companies such as O2 and Orange.

However, others point to international brands that need to build awareness in the insurance and healthcare sectors as more likely candidates to take Nationwide’s place on shirts.

Both National Express and E.On ended sponsorship deals with the FA earlier this year.

Meanwhile, the side’s poor performance in South Africa will only have a short term affect on sponsors’ sales projections but won’t dampen the FA’s efforts – or indeed the cost of the deal – to secure future sponsors, according to the European Sponsorship Association chairman Karen Earl.

“[England’s exit from the World Cup] will obviously be disappointing to sponsors who would have had an enormous benefit from the hype generated if the England team had progressed,”she says.

“However, people have short memories and will continue to want to get behind the team and show unity and national pride more long term, and sponsors want to tap into that, and are in it for the long term benefit” she added.

Pippa Collett, managing director of Sponsorship Consulting agrees: “Inevitably in the short term there will be a negative feeling in the country because of the team’s performance, but England has The Premier League, and therefore access to the best players so we’re still in the top league of footballing nations, so England has all to play for when it comes to sponsorship,” she says.

Elsewhere, observers expect Carlsberg to quietly wind-up its campaign featuring England players and the associated point of sale branding, while retailers will adopt a more generic World Cup supporting stance.

A Tesco spokesman says: “Most of our activity will go across to a ’World Cup party’ theme. We have to adjust our marketing at some point but there are still a lot of football fans out there and so the World Cup Party will continue.”

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