Remember the fans

Mark Choueke is bang on the money when he says that iconic events like the World Cup should belong to the fans. Last year Coca-Cola announced a 29% increase in sales following the Bejing Olympics, and I have no doubt that all the official sponsors of the World Cup, and London 2012, will be hoping for similar success, not to mention all the unofficial brands that will be hoping to somehow leverage the positive emotions these events create among fans.

Fan festival
Fan festival: FIFA World Cup

Global spend on sponsorship, particularly in the sports arena, has risen year on year, even through the economic doom and gloom. With this in mind, it becomes more and more difficult for brands to stand out in such a highly competitive and heavily legislated environment. Much more than just slapping a logo on an event, brands need to invest more than ever in creating powerful brand experiences that resonate with people on more of an emotional level.

Experiences that not only last the duration of the event, but weeks, months and ideally years after the arena is cleared and the emotions of victory/defeat (depending who you support) have long subdued.

Just as new technologies such as 3D have changed the way in which fans can view sporting events, new channels, and in particular social media, have changed forever the way in which people can chose to communicate and interact with brands – and used appropriately and effectively, has the potential to amplify a brand beyond the event itself, creating and maintaining a lasting impression with fans that doesn’t fade as soon as the final whistle is blown.

Safe to say, it will be interesting to see who gets it right, and inevitably who will get it horribly wrong. But obviously not quite as interesting as whether Capello can get us past the semi-finals…

Hugh Robertson
Founding partner and CEO