World Cup 2010: What’s the cost of England winning? England Promotions Galore.

The time has come around for football’s finest to battle it out, this year in South Africa, for the World Cup. England and the USA are set to duke it out in a matter of hours. My question? What’s the true price of England winning the World Cup?

I mean this, of course, not from a social perspective. An England win would be great. People would jump up and down, be merry, and hug each other, if only for one day. No, I’m considering things from a corporate perspective, since there are a great many companies banking on England losing, by offering ridiculous promotions, and your money back if England do emerge victorious.

My good friend, and political blogger extraordinaire, Byrnsweord has already documented the fields of tat that have emerged as a result of the furore surrounding the World Cup, but what would a World Cup win mean for corporations?

I’m sure you’ve heard all about Toshiba’s amazing and note-worthy sponsorship of our team, to the extent where they’ll refund all your money from certain TV and laptop purchases, which is only testament to their faith in the England squad.

Similar to this, until a few days ago, Currys offered a promotion for where every goal England scores, you’ll get £10 back on the price of any recent purchase. O2 have also adopted a similar promotion, where you’ll be rewarded with £5 in cash for every goal England score, when you order one of their special ‘World Cup’ SIM cards, and top it up with the princely sum of £15; assumingly so you’ll have enough credit to text your buddies inane ramblings during the England match later on.

World Cup promotions banking (or gambling, depending on how you look at it) on England’s World Cup success are numerous, with even companies like TomTom jumping on the bandwagon; assumingly, so you can drive yourself to Pizza Hut/the pub/off a cliff, given the outcome of tonight’s match. What kind of message does this send out, though? One needs to consider the demographic these promotions are aimed at. I’m not going to make generalisations, because I hate them, but suffice to say, I think it’s clear to see they’re primarily targeted at football fans, by companies hoping for some easy money.

How do these fans perceive such deals? Fans, please do comment, as I’d be delighted to hear from you, not being a fan of the sport myself. As an outsider looking in, so to speak, they look like a bit like an insult, and another nail in the coffin for England’s history of (correct me if I’m wrong) disappointing World Cup losses.

Whatever your opinion, I’d hate to be Toshiba if England do win. Could a cup win for England bankrupt them? It’s a possibility. It’s my humble opinion, however, that corporations should stay away from such games. If you want to support our national team, by all means, go ahead. I’m sure they’ll appreciate the help. Gambling on their failure is not cool under any circumstances, however, especially when it’s their purported sponsors who are doing so.

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2 Comments on “World Cup 2010: What’s the cost of England winning? England Promotions Galore.”

  1. Byrnsweord says:

    I’m inclined to agree: Toshiba’s movements here are very peculiar.

    As a fan of the England football team, I understand the need for a multitude of international corporations to become the ‘Official Snack Supplier’ (http://www.marsbar.co.uk/home.aspx) or the ‘Official Vehicle Supplier’ (http://www.thefa.com/TheFA/NewsAndFeatures/2010/FiatFeb.aspx) or even the ‘Official Men’s Grooming Supplier’ (http://www.thefa.com/TheFA/NewsAndFeatures/2010/nivea-010310.aspx).

    My concern is the fact that corporate ideals rather than corporate sponsorship can dominate the tournament or a specific team by becoming inseparable to the entity. I’ve never seen a World Cup match without the Golden Arches of McDonalds, and whilst I accept the reality of global capital, this saddens me slightly.

    • Aris says:

      It is saddening. I was just at Marks & Spencer, whose main foyer was occupied by a display of suits, backed with a poster proclaiming them to be England’s ‘Official Tailor’.

      This is very interesting from a branding perspective. Instead of the brands mentioned being boosted by their affiliation with England and the World Cup, which I assume to be the case, these brands are actually colouring our own perceptions of the England team. Where it gets tricky, is when a company (such as Toshiba) isn’t at all affiliated with the England team, but launches a promotion such as this, triggering the two-way infusion of brand values I’ve just described. The England team need to be very careful of this. Who knows. Maybe future legislation is required to stop this from happening. Wishful thinking?


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