Thursday, 10 July 2014

The World Cup Business

 It seemed the world skidded to different tempo when the ‘Brazil 2014 world cup’ was commenced. A lot of fuss, hypes and trends where initiated by both the corporate and non-corporate world.  Posters, adverts and social media were constantly reeling with contents related to the world cup event and proceedings.
There was an almost subtle effect which this phenomenal event (world cup) had on people and businesses. Without realizing it, the world cup had quite some effects on us all, whether we are sport enthusiast or not.
While all the, jive, hustling and bustling was going on during this period, some corporate organizations where strategizing and planning on the best methods in using this event to their advantage. Not to be left out, even Government agencies and personnel made good propaganda with the world cup event. Below are some enterprising ways the FIFA 2014 world cup was utilized by both corporate and non-corporate institutions.
Without any doubt and without any argument, social media benefited most from this event. There was always fresh content, which was applicable to a very large and ready audience. Almost every phenomenal occurrence; Suarez’s biting, Brazil's loss to Netherlands, the ignominious exit of Spain and Africa’s lethargy were all topics to be dissected and trended in the different social mediums.
In fact some social networks (notably Facebook), made some additional features to their applications especially on mobile devices. These changes, allowed the apps to grant users direct access to match proceedings, venue, statistics and team profiles.
Not to be outdone, Twitter made provisions for man-of-the-match position to be chosen by its ever loquacious and unanimous audience. Highlights of the event where constantly trending, in-fact Twitter has recorded new records in  the most talked about sports event during this world-cup (and at the time of this post the world cup is far from over).
Google may not be very popular for discussing live or trending events, but this world cup has given it a more definitive nudge in that direction. Truth is that Google and its diverse services may have a more pragmatic approach for such events: I mean just imagine a hangout with a friend who is live at a match in Brazil, and yes of course your friend is going to be streaming you videos of the proceedings from his Google glasses (very explicit, I tell you).
Way before the first ball was kicked; a lot of businesses and organizations had primed contents and adverts for the world cup. Depending on the budget a company may choose to become the official sponsor of a team or just be contented to squeeze an advert during breaks of airing the match on live television.
Another surprising twist during this world-cup was the way some agencies developed relevant content with it. Agencies such as Business Insider constantly furnished contents about the world cup as long as it was relevant to its target audience in the US.
Many businesses by giving incentives and bonuses hoped to increase patronage for their brands. Chief amongst this are the booze industries (Breweries) and their beer products. For example the super eagles-The Nigerian national team, was proudly sponsored by Guinness. This very assertive brand made sure bill boards and TV stations across Nigeria heralded the fact that they were the official sponsors of the super eagles. Peradventure the super eagles performed exceptionally well during the world cup, it would have been a very strategic market campaign.
It may not have been succinctly-obvious (please excuse my bad habit of pleonasm), but many Government and their officials look forward to such events as a means of strengthening their positions. It is now beginning to dawn on Government and Politicians that a good standing in such international events, goes a long way to promote patriotism and civil relations for its citizens. Although using such event as a means for propaganda may seem odd, it is not uncommon.
 Nigeria’s president promotes adverts on how prominent and competitive its athletes are, on international stage, due to its good governance (whether you see the relevancy or not).
 For the host country things weren’t so rosy, in-fact prior to the world cup event, a lot of protest and anti-host the world cup campaign was going on. Protesters argued that the government was investing so much money in hosting a world cup, meanwhile the country lacked adequate structures for education, health and welfare in general. After the world cup no one can predict what would become of these protest, I think by then it would be like crying over split milk.
There is also a considerable measure of influence on relationship and society- there seems to be a feeling of mutual togetherness and agreement when one’s nation is playing.  It becomes a topic that can be discussed with the boss at the office or the taxi driver who is always current with such proceedings. There seems to be a communion at every bar or lounge, it is easier to get free beers during a game (especially when your national team is doing well). A greater percentage of people use to prefer watching such games at stadiums or public places, but not anymore, the current threat of Bokoharam has limited such gatherings.  
At home, even the curiosity of the house-wife is aroused, she tends to catch a little of the world cup fever, which her husband, her children and their friends seem to occupy their daily activities with. The time she usually watches her soap-operas, is the time when the TV remote is apathetically wrenched from her hands.
For football fans, business brands hoping to increase sales and even government propagandist, the world cup soon comes to an end, if the favorite team performed well; it is counted as success for its supporters and patrons. But most often than not, teams (especially African teams), score badly on their performance. What this implies is a reduced commitment on parts of businesses who would not like to associate their brands with low performance.
The fanatic fan soon returns to their dreary existence of trying to make ends meet since prices keep going up, and the cost of living keeps getting higher. The corporations keep looking for newer and more convincing ways for us to patronize their brands. For the government, it was an opportune moment that afforded them time to create the smoke-screen effect.
The world cup is big business, and when it comes, only those who are readily prepared can exploit its potentials. My writing this article is just one example since this article may have been incongruous, if the world cup had not made it relevant.