On the ball – Q’s + soccer with…Robert Lampman, head of business development and sales, FIFA, Zurich

It doesn't matter who your target is, soccer will deliver. FIFA's Robert Lampman says the sport cuts across all social-economic and age groups, according to the org's research in 26 markets.

It doesn’t matter who your target is, soccer will deliver. FIFA’s Robert Lampman says the sport cuts across all social-economic and age groups, according to the org’s research in 26 markets.

Lampman was a principal author of FIFA’s new sponsorship program, which was brought in house three years ago. It has led to more innovative efforts, such as a McDonald’s campaign to select 22 German kids aged six to 12 to be player escorts. Between 1994 and 2006, the value of FIFA’s sponsorship deals has doubled to 1.1 billion Euros.

The good news for Canadian marketers is that there’s an opportunity to get involved locally with the FIFA Under-20 World Cup, which will run June 30 to July 22 next year in six host cities: Burnaby, B.C., Victoria, Edmonton, Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa. About 500,000 spectators are expected to attend, 52 matches will be broadcast and there will be one billion viewers for the tourney. Strategy sat down with Lampman, who was at the Sponsorship Marketing Council of Canada’s Annual Conference, to find out more.

What are you looking for in Canadian partners?

We’re looking at telcos, banks, any category not covered by our top six (Adidas, Coke, Sony, Emirates, Visa and Hyundai). What’s critical is to have companies that want to communicate the message in advance of the event. We’re also looking for companies with a national presence.

 

What’s the most innovative program you’ve seen so far?

The opportunity to create a global music program with Sony/BMG is one. We do an official pop single that becomes a trademark song of that particular World Cup, and then we create concerts.

 

What kind of opportunities are there for partners to get involved in FIFA’s CSR programs?

We [invest in] educational and fitness programs and putting pitches [in developing countries]. Each partner can talk about creating a program that’s giving to a cause. This will be taken to a new level [as] we’ll have the ability to create marketing programs in Africa. [The 2010 World Cup will be played on the continent for the first time.] LD