The 12th man

As I started to think about vacation, I fortunately remembered that I needed to plan around a block of time - June 11, 2010 to July 11, 2010.

You guessed it. The World Cup. Probably the most important sporting tournament in the world. I think life stops for myself and for millions of others during this time. STOPS!

And it is during this time that the world's most popular event will meet the world's most popular trend. I think the World Cup is the marketer's dream, and couple that with social media marketing done correctly and you're sure to have a winner hopefully both on and off the field. Especially when one considers how it stacks up with the expensive advertising which always comes with an event of this magnitude. Big brands as well as smaller, local companies can definitely maximise their marketing dollar via effective social networking strategies.

Sony Ericsson, a Tier One sponsor of the tournament has no plans to do any traditional television or billboard marketing. It's push is to reach the fan directly through social media. How successful they will be, time will tell, but it's a bold move from a company that has committed over $300 million to the South Africa and Brazil finals.

And besides the obvious business potential of this mammoth event, there is also the personal side. Already networking sites have started popping up. The English, not to be left out of any World Cup (they make sure everyone knows they're there, for good or bad), have established their presence already with a site described as "The Meeting Place for South Africa 2010" where fans can meet up with fellow football enthusiasts and arrange to meet in South Africa to support the Lions. Definitely there should be football tweet ups across the globe, niche marketing from the travel, not to mention the hospitality industry, WC apps, cause hey, if the Pope can have apps for the soul, FIFA and the various FA will definitely (hopefully) have 2010 WC apps for the zealous, ball crazy fans.
There is already the Twitter Cup from Sony Ericsson. reports that Sony Ericsson has created a social networking representation of the 2010 FIFA World Cup that allows football fans to tweet their home countries into the history books.

The ’tournament’ is accessible to anyone with a mobile phone or an internet connection who wishes to use their Twitter account to support their side. The Twitter Cup kicked off the day the groups were decided. In order to give their teams the best chance of winning the virtual tournament, Twitter users will need to tweet #TWC, followed by the name of their chosen nation. The number of tweets received by each country is represented by a visual chart, with the various national flags growing in size as their popularity grows. The Twitter Cup will coincide with the 2010 FIFA World Cup final.

During the last Olympics, Facebook was a-flutter with status updates from my friends about their athletes. I myself blogged throughout the entire WC 2008, though will resist the urge to do so this time around. But yes, it should be a spectacle like no other. I can't wait.


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