BLE 2012: FIFA planning 'the next vuvuzela' for 2014 World Cup

Football body turns to licensing community for ideas; seeks long-term partnerships.
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FIFA wants to launch a consumer product that it hopes will replicate the success of the vuvuzela from the 2010 World Cup.

The football governing body is kicking off its licensing programme for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. And Ralph Strauss (pictured), head of strategy and brand management for FIFA, reckons another iconic product like the plastic horn could become a retail hit in its own right.

Speaking at the Licensing Academy at Brand Licensing Europe 2012 today, he said: “The vuvuzela was the star of 2010. It was the most sold item in South Africa.

“We’re planning a signature product – like the vuvuzela – for 2014. If anybody here has an idea, we’re more than happy to listen.”

Strauss also recognised that the World Cup has a small window of opportunity in terms of licensed products, and said he wants more long-term partnerships with companies, like those it has with video game publisher EA and sticker producer Panini.

“The window of opportunity for the licensing programme is relatively short, so we don’t want products that aren’t sold after the World Cup,” he added. “It’s challenging picking products. It’s not just about making a product – it’s about developing something truly sustainable. 

“We can build our truly long-term collaborations like EA and Panini to see an increase in scope, impact and revenue. This is what we want for [the 2014 World Cup] licensing programme.

“The merchandise programme is essential to the promotion and branding around the FIFA World Cup. There are a lot of opportunities.”

Some 3.2 billion viewers watch the World Cup football tournament on TV. Strauss said that the World Cup demographic is balanced, with a 60/40 split of male to female viewers. 

A 2014 World Cup style guide is out now. FIFA is working on a World Cup ‘heritage’ style guide.

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