Football Fever
Well, the World Cup is almost upon us. If you think like my wife, you will not be looking forward to it (though the fever will spread if the matches are entertaining, and England do well). Being an out-and-out football nut, I am already planning my evenings in front of each game.

I have to say that I feel that business has been somewhat slow in backing this global event up. This could be partly due to the legal protection offered to the 'official' sponsors, or maybe the football overload in the media. But companies are starting to wake up!

My company - Jack Marketing Solutions has been ready for a number of months, unrolling our traditional forecasting spreadsheet. This Excel document has surprised us for every tournament, predicting the winners with uncanny accuracy. It is just a series of calculations, but it overrides my gut feelings about the winners. If is also good fun, so why not take a look at it - www.jack-marketing.com/about/sport.htm.

Obviously businesses such as Pubs, Clubs and drinks vendors will be doing a roaring trade this summer, but as a committee member for the local football club, I can see smaller clubs at the grass levels of the sport benefiting from this interest. Most clubs, including many semi-professional teams rely on bar sales to bring sufficient funds in to run the clubs. Showing the World Cup games could benefit them financially through the bar takings alone (licensing issues do, however, apply).

But this interest can also be tapped for next season. Business owners who see the increased interest in football will start looking at the smaller clubs, sponsoring shirts, facilities and players. At Fernhurst Sports FC we have developed a Media Pack to introduce the club to the local business leaders, and inviting them to sponsor the team in its centenary year. Take up has begun, but it is slow - but come the World Cup, I would expect interest to grow considerably.

There are many different options companies can take, on- and offline, but you now need to be quick, the tournament starts on the 9th June. I was talking to someone recently who had a great product idea, and invested a large amount of time and money into developing this idea. The only problem was that the timing was way out. The bigger the idea, the longer the lead time, generally. My spreadsheet took about a week to develop and test (having already developed it previously).
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