Let me begin saying that I am glad that the World Cup is finally over. I am not really into football, but ended up watching quite a few matches in pub environments (too many beer pitchers) in an ungodly hours here in Jakarta.
Nobody watching the matches could have missed the Emirates advertisements that were all over and the FA’s (their Emirates FA outfits were completely out of place IMHO) carrying the medals at the final ceremony.
You can access BloombergBusinessweek’s article about Emirates sponsoring of FIFA here.
Here are some tidbits from the article:
Emirates spent about $100 million over the past four years to be one of FIFA’s six top “partners,” a well-heeled group that included Adidas (ADS:GR), Coca-Cola(KO), Hyundai Motor (005380:KS) / Kia Motors (000270:KS), Sony (SNE), and Visa (V), according to an estimate from London-based Brand Finance, which works with corporate marketers. “They have made a very strategic investment, and they are kind of ingrained in the games,” says Dave Chattaway, a sports valuation analyst with Brand Finance. “And seeing them last night … you can truly say they are a global brand name.”
The other aspect of such heavy spending by an airline speaks directly to its central goal: continued international expansion, particularly in Europe and North America. Emirates’ explosive growth has siphoned passengers and profits from a bevy of European carriers, led by Germany’s Lufthansa (LHA:GR), and has drawn sharp complaints from airlines on both sides of the Atlantic that it is subsidized by its home government in Dubai. Emirates’ large orders of Boeing (BA) jumbo jets has also been an issue in the current debate over whether Congress should reauthorize the U.S. Export-Import Bank.
$100 million is a drop in the bucket for Emirates that flies from its Dubai hub to both Rio de Janeiro (the flight continues to Buenos Aires) and Sao Paulo. Football (called soccer in Noth America) is very popular sport in Europe that is very important market for Emirates.
I just have to say that it did look weird to have Emirates FA’s on their uniforms, which aren’t that good looking, to bring out the medals. Bit less conservative outfit would have suited the atmosphere in Rio better.