Hyundai and Kia kick off big marketing programs in FIFA World Cup
Throughout the world, football (soccer to us) is more than just a game with eleven participants punting a ball around a well-manicured green — or pitch or dusty field. It is a nationalistic, often ethnic, competition rivaling century-long conflicts on fields of honor. The Wall Street Journal has called it geopolitical football.
The 32 best football teams in the world – determined by elimination – divided into eight groups begin play today in a long and hard-fought battle for the coveted FIFA World Cup, the Cupa de Mondial.
Millions upon millions upon millions will be tuned to their television sets as the matches are played. And it’s these vast numbers that advertisers of any worldwide brand are anxious to reach with commercials and promotions. For the Korean brands Hyundai and Kia this is a ready-made audience for their respective brands.
Of the two related Korean brands, Hyundai has become an “Official Automotive Partner of the 2010 FWC South Africa,” with Kia’s participation more limited. The event is a massive undertaking befitting its worldwide nature, and all games are televised live, with repeat-casts on the web, from the ten different venues. Over 1 million applications for tickets have been received from soccer mad fans. The parties have already been running for weeks.
Cumulatively the number of viewers is in the hundreds of millions, so, even for those agape at the power of the recent Winter Olympics and the Super Bowl, in terms of appeal, audience size and advertising together, they cannot match the power of the World Cup.