Football merchandising kicks off

It’s under a week to go before the 2010 world cup kicks off in host country South Africa with the first match being Uruguay vs France on June 11.

Here in England, it’s now hard to go anywhere without being exposed to the merchandising blitz of products of every shape, size and type that you can buy to show that you support the national team.

Flags, stickers, bunting, apparel, toys, accessories, you name it, you can buy it. There’s even an England football credit card you can apply for.

Some of the stuff you can buy is well designed and made. Retailer Marks and Spencer, for instance, has a really attractive range of t-shirts and other clothing that uses the England football connection in imaginative ways, beyond simply the St George’s Cross and the word ‘England.’

It’s amazing to see some of the connections marketers make for their brands and world cup football. Here’s an example – a display of Gillette Fusion razor blades I saw today in a Tesco supermarket.

fusionworldcup

Complete with flag and a cheering horn. Support the team while you shave!

In any event, we can expect 30 days of terrific football dominating the mainstream media – especially television – and online. As a transient football supporter – I tend to be an avid TV viewer only for international contests like this one – I’m doing my bit with some visible support when I’m out and about.

For England fans, the action starts next Saturday with its first  match, against the USA (read the line-up preview). Kickoff at 7.30pm UK (2.30pm US Eastern).

May the best team win!

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Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

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