The World Cup kick-off is down the corner and the number of players missing it continues to grow every day. Injuries, unexpected manager decisions and teams failing to qualify for Brazil resulted in one of the longest list of high profile players missing the tournament everyone dreams to be part of.
Ibrahimovic, Ribery, VÃctor ValdÃ©s, Falcao, Bale, Donovan, Mario GÃ³mez, Theo Walcott, Arbeloa, Thiago AlcÃ¡ntara and other top footballers will regretfully enjoy extra vacation time this summer, and next to them a long list of brand managers have had to redo their marketing and activation plans featuring players that ultimately will miss Brazil World Cup. So list of brands missing out includes the likes of Volvo (Slatan Ibrahimovic), Direct TV (Falcao), Hugo Boss (Mario GÃ³mez), 5hour Energy (Thiago AlcÃ¡ntara), Mars (Theo Walcott), Yahoo (Theo Walcott) and Pattex (VÃctor ValdÃ©s), not to mention Nike, Adidas and Puma that supply the boots of the majority of the players.Â
This opens up the debate on whether it is too risky for a brand to rely on players when it comes to leverage major global sports events in communication. Obviously the damage depends on whether the campaign was based on one single player (like Pattex adhesives with VÃctor ValdÃ©s) or not (Hugo Boss has other players such as Sergio Ramos) and the time available to react to the bad news (Mars signed Gerrard and Welbeck after WalcottÂ´s injury).
In my opinion, players continue to offer a great value for money, unique activation opportunities and fan engaging content which brands just canât afford to miss. My recommendation, when it comes to decide about association to an event of the dimension of the World Cup, is to dilute the risk by signing more than one player as ambassador, even if it results in a bigger investment on fees. It may be considered it as an âinsuranceâ type of investment, but in return brand marketers will have peace of mind and more content to leverage.
Enjoy the World Cup!