World Cup- China advertising is starting to heat up.

A  insight from Michael MacRitchie

To follow on from Andrew Howie’s piece on the FIFA world cup, I would like to turn the readers attention to China…

Here in Shanghai one of the biggest TV networks CCTV (China Central Television) has won the rights to broadcast the World Cup and is now blowing the whistle for bids on advertising slots for the global sporting event to commence.

I met with He Haiming, the Vice President of the advertising department, he told MGI that the last batch of advertising slots including the “naming rights” for some special programs and slots for individual matches, will be made available to bidders in mid-April.

In November 2009,  the national broadcasting giant first begun auctioning off prime-time advertising slots for the 2010 World Cup, which is due to kick off in South Africa on June 11.

Sichuan-based Alchol producer Langjiu Group won the bid and will fork out 33.3 million RMB ($4.88 Million) for the exclusive titling rights to the Worlds Cup top scoring list.

Brand advertisers including China Mobile, Nike, sportswear maker Deerway and Tsingtao Beer have already splurged billions of money for advertising slots during the entire event.

Adidas, Coca Cola, Sony, Budweiser, Castrol’s Elixion and other sponsors of the World Cup have also followed suit.

It will also be interesting to see how creative the branding will be from theses sponsors…

China Daily states that Huang Shaengmin, dean of the advertising department at the Communication University of China, said that the value of the World Cup, in terms of brand promotion, is higher than either the Olympic Games, which is considered very expensive to purchase on TV.

” The one month event is similar to a TV series .  Audiences will keep a close eye on every match, which are all crucial in the final outcome. Intensive advertising during the World Cup is highly efficient as audiences will translate enthusiasm from the games to the products or brands they see on TV everyday during the games: Huang added.

CCTV declined to say how much they would be paying for this year’s broadcasting rights, but added the price for the games in South Africa have gone up significantly based on the success of the Chinese economy and strong viewer interest by fans.

I am curious…… how this world cup will shape up, the last big sporting event held in South Africa was the Rugby World Cup. This event was a huge success (for South Africa) and managed exceptionally well.

At the time  South Africa also had an incredible president in Nelson Mandella and the South African victory (as underdogs) helped unify the nation.