It’s All about Fútbol (Soccer)!

The FIFA World Cup South Africa 2010, which will take place between June 11 and July 11, is perhaps the most significant sports event in the world. Definitely in the Latin World, where soccer reigns. As Jesus Mata, Sr. Director, Advertising Services at DirecTV Latin America, says “soccer, more appropriately, fútbol, is close to the heart of most our nations in Latin America, even in the case of newer converts like Venezuela. The combination of the genuine love connection that each country has towards its national team, and the finity of many of our countries towards the teams of multi-champions like Brazil and Argentina (or sportsmen’s healthy animosity, in some cases...), assure that the tournament will be a topic, if not the topic, of most conversations going towards the actual tournament and while it takes place; to the point that peoples’ agendas and habits will change; work habits will be affected, traffic patterns will change in the cities, and attendance to bars and restaurants will explode during unusual hours due to the difference in time zone.”
Advertising specialist Greg Anthony, SVP of Alloy Access, the multicultural division of the marketing firm Alloy Inc has a very clear advice for media properties: “They need to have their offering available today—companies are setting budgets right now”. 

COVERAGE

It’s all about the way media companies are going to cover the event to make their offerings enticing to their audiences, and,last but not least, to their advertisers.
Marcela Romero, Marketing Manager at Efe, the fourth largest newswire in the world and the largest one in the Spanish-speaking world, says that media properties are much more demanding than they were four years ago. Media properties want very diverse content that is dynamic and connect with their audience preferences and emotions. Romero adds that Efe will increase its coverage of the World Cup in different formats that meet the demand of digital and print media properties. “Thanks to our Latin American vision of the world, with a heavy emphasis on all aspects related to the Latin/Hispanic World in the World Cup, we can offer our clients the information they need to meet the demand of their audience.” “We find that monetization is key for all our clients if they want to secure advertisers and sponsors and deliver good metrics during the event”, says Gilles Tarot, Marketing and Sales Director at Agence France Presse in Washington. According to Tarot, “more than 300 clients subscribed to AFP's production for the Beijing Olympics and the European soccer championships in 2008. We have surveyed all of them after those events and upgraded existing or added new products to meet their specific needs and requests.”
As a result of the survey, AFP recently introduced a web 2.0 publishing application that lets web and mobile operators handle AFP's multimedia content for selected special events such as the Olympics and the World Cup. The online application automates publication of AFP content (illustrated historical and biographical data, real-time results, stories, photo slideshows, and videos) and allows clients to customize multimedia feeds to publish HTML modules directly on websites or mobile websites.

INTEGRATION INTO ADVERTISING PLATFORMS

“Our clients will be able to deeply customize the content they are receiving from us as well as the look and feel of their site if they choose our publishing platform. They also have the option to receive raw feeds and build their own pages and tables. All our content can be monetized either via pre-roll video ads, banner ads or interstitial ads for our Flash Graphics or via standard ad placement in our new content widgets”, Tarot concludes. The AFP is sending a team of more than 120 reporters, photographers and video journalists with backup in South Africa will send comprehensive daily production of news, photos, videos and graphics. The French newswire’s, Tarot emphasizes, that these reporters will be reporting from stadiums and will not just be in front of TV screens.

EACH MATCH LIKE THE FINAL...

Dozens of editors and reporters at the media properties themselves are crucial in putting together and spice up the editorial package. Content is a media property’s DNA and of strategic importance. TV giant Univision will leverage all its media platforms to deliver an unparalleled World Cup experience, says Cesar Conde, president of Univision. “From live streaming, to special World Cup editions of our most popular programs (morning show, entertainment programs, news magazines), in-depth analyses and match recaps, video blogs and real time SMS alerts, Univision is the home of the World Cup.”, says Cesar Conde, president of Univision. Conde adds that “we treat each match like a final match airing extensive pre-game coverage, the pomp and circumstance as the players take the field, and playing the national anthem for both teams. And every year we assemble a team of announcers with an unmatched depth of soccer experience and knowledge.” Latin American and Hispanic online media property Terra plans to send between 20-30 editors and IT staff to South Africa to offer analysis and insights about the matches. Terra is in conversations to offer live streams the soccer matches in some Latin American countries. Fútbol Mundial publisher Felix Sencion notes that his model leverages efficiencies by hiring freelancers and writers, providing them with specific direction, talking with them about what is not being covered properly, and aggregating relevant content from that pool of writers with a uniquely global perspective. “We will send senior level editorial staff to engage with them - from the stadiums and the media centers where they all meet and share ideas, to the most unlikely places (we are sure that South Africa will provide plenty of “never seen before” type of experiences for these columnists/blogers etc.”
Another publication, which, like Fútbol Mundial, is exclusively oriented to soccer, is Récord, published by Maya Publishing Group, Récord will send no less than 15 reporters to Mexico (together with its Mexican sister daily newspaper Récord). Alejandro Solorio, Marketing Manager at Hoy Chicago, says that his newspaper (daily, circulation Monday-Thurs: 60,000, Friday 100,000 and weekends’ 300,000) will take advantage of the benefit of being part of a great media organization like the Tribune Company. “We will use all the resources and the latest available communication technology to bring to our readers the most important and relevant information of the World Cup,” he adds. Dino Chiecchi, editor of San Antonio’s Conexion, a weekly with a circulation of 50,000 owned by the San Antonio Express News (Hearst), tells Portada that there will be World Cup coverage in both the English and Spanish-language sections of his newspaper.  La Voz de Houston is also owned by Hearst. Aurora Losada, editor of The Houston Chronicle’s Spanish-language publications, tells Portada that the “basic plan is to offer compelling information in our weekly, La Voz, plus daily up-to-the-minute information in our webpage, lavozdehouston.com. These are the main differences versus the 2006 coverage. In 2010, we’ll produce our own special World Cup pages, as opposed to 2006, when we had a tabloid in partnership with El Universal from Mexico.” Losada adds that La Voz has beefed up its sports content by incorporating savvy sports writers: “We are absolutely confident that we will be able to offer analytical, looking forward  ontent combined with informative tables and entertaining features in our weekly. Online La Voz will have a special webpage devoted to the World Cup. We will produce it with both daily multimedia content from our current providers plus contributions from sports writers”, Losada concludes.


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