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June 12, 2006

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Matthew Podboy

I'm sorry about England, Adam. After the U.S. was out, I hopped on the U.K. bandwagon and was sorry to see them lose. My support is now behind Italy.

Your point about sponsorship and multi-year deals is a good one. I tend to fall in line with typical American-capitalists and think that if a German beer really wanted to sponsor beer at the World Cup they should have a built a company that produced enough revenue to win the deal. Until then, Bud or the company with the most money is going to do what it can to promote itself.

One way around this would be if a market leader - knowing it would receive a warm welcome in the target market - voluntarily put its money into a local brand as part of a goodwill jesture. In this case Bud could have infused a german brew so that it won the marketing deal. Then a smart viral marketing campaing could spread the word that Big Brother helped our hometown favorite and love would flow from kegs everywhere...

Adam Zand

Hmm, only one more real World Cup game left and I'm going into withdrawal. England is my squad since 1975, so last win in this tourney is deja vu of my pre-2004 Red Sox fandom.

Anyhow, on blog topic - I spoke with two German fans at the Goethe Institute in Boston about the Budweiser travesty last week (great win over Argentina) and we agreed that Bud wouldn't normally be served based on German brewing purity laws, but that Sam Adams would fit. Problem in tying sponsorship to a single event (FIFA signs multi-year deals when possible) is the usual global marketing conundrum - will my message connect or insult the viewers/locals? Bud tried to cover bases/goal posts with a local partner, but it's a joke when a real German Pilsner is superior to Bud's watery soup.

The other geography/marketing problem comes in 2010 with an overdue World Cup visit to South Africa. My German friend joked that they'd need to have oppressive diamond mine as the only local business that can sustain a global marketing campaign. A great point and rationale for multi-year deals that help the coffers of FIFA and I guess the players.

I don't care as long as England wins in 2010 or I guess my lifetime!

Matthew Podboy

I hadn't heard that story, Stuart, thanks for sharing. It makes me a bit embarassed. I'm not a soccer (football) expert but do try and support it during the World Cup. Things like this unfortunately show our ignorance and lack of effort to understand the history and culture of the sport. I'll root for England if you do the same for the U.S. club - we need all the support we can get! -Matt

Stuart Bruce - Wolfstar

McDonalds made an even bigger mistake. A 10-year-old boy in England won a McDonald's competition to become a "World Cup mascot" and lead the team out onto the pitch. You can imagine how excited he was. Until he found out that the clowns at McDonalds has assigned him to Germany - England's greatest football rivals. Surely a decision that could only have been made by those who totally don't understand football (soccer).

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