Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Landon Donovan and the Soccer Marketing Stampede

Landon Donovan scored the winning goal for US vs. Algeria in the World Cup and now ESPN reports that Donovan's sports trading cards are selling for higher prices on eBay. The Christian Science Monitor asks: Is Donovan's achievement likely to encourage US fans to follow soccer even after the World Cup is history?

Well, World Cup fans of all ages (all over the planet) are glued to their web browsers, smartphones, TVs, and radios to get the latest scores and standings. While I was sailing on the Cunard's Queen Victoria 10 days ago, the crew set up several large-screen TVs in public areas so passengers could watch the early matches. It was standing room only as soccer fever gripped the ship. At least one fan I know skipped work today to watch the US-Algeria match live. And he phoned updates to his work colleagues, I found out when I heard cell phones ringing...

The big sneaker/sports equipment companies are pushing and shoving for worldwide share, with aggressive marketing campaigns linked to this most popular of all global sports. Country-by-country sponsors, including non-sports-related marketers, are also reaping the benefits. In South Korea, for instance, SK Telecom is leveraging its World Cup-related marketing to reach young audiences. Will the soccer marketing stampede fade after the Cup is over?

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