Coca-Cola’s World Cup Sponsorship Looks to be a Winning Strategy

Posted on December 11, 2009. Filed under: Public Relations | Tags: , , , |

My colleague, Inma Canti, and I recently prepared a report on media coverage of the corporate sponsors of the 2010 World Cup football (soccer) tournament.  We thought this would be an interesting topic because the event is the world’s most watched sporting event and a big platform for corporate sponsors who are willing to shell out millions of dollars to have their names and brands affiliated with the event.

A noteworthy finding in the report is Coca-Cola’s strong emphasis on marketing events associated with the World Cup and its efforts to promote these activities in the media.  For example, Coke had more than double the number of media placements for its World Cup activities than Visa, which was the company with the next highest volume of placements.  Also, Coke CEO Muhtar Kent was the executive quoted or mentioned most often in the coverage.

These results should not be surprising, considering Coke’s recent strategy that emphasizes growth in global markets.  Kent noted in the company’s 2008 annual report that, “critical to expanding our global beverage leadership is achieving balanced growth across a range of geographies. We have identified emerging markets as critical to our business growth. We are [also] taking aggressive actions to reinforce our business in key developed markets like Japan, North America and parts of Western Europe.”

Being a World Cup sponsor is an expensive proposition: official sponsorships cost $125 million, which doesn’t include the marketing activities undertaken by the companies to promote their involvement with the tournament. It’s logical for Coke to devote considerable resources to this effort, however, since the event is an ideal platform for a company emphasizing a growth strategy focused on emerging markets (16 of the 32 participating teams are from Africa, Latin America, or Eastern Europe), Western Europe (9 teams) and Japan (also a participant).  Our data show that 74% of the media coverage for World Cup corporate sponsors in Q3 came from either European or African sources, which confirms that the World Cup is probably an ideal vehicle for Coke’s marketing strategy.

A copy of the World Cup 2010 Sponsors media report can be found here.

David Breg is a media consultant based in Washington, D.C.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...