Bud and Big Brands Bring FIFA A-Game

The 2010 FIFA World Cup kickoff is just days away. You may feel quickness of pulse, sweaty palms and the pressing desire to tell the guy sitting next to you exactly how many days, hours and minutes away this moment is. The reason for this behavior could be the effect of countdown timers being posted everywhere FIFA – one of the many tools along with games and contests asking soccer fans to get involved this season. Soccer and social media are powerful, global uniters, and in some cases, dividers. Brands in the know are paying close attention to this influential audience and creating content that will have soccer fans [kitschy soccer metaphor deleted] returning the favor. Here is the 2010 highlight reel:

Nike Write the Future
With over 11 million views as of today and racking up an impressive 7.8 million in the first week of its launch, Nike’s Write the Future video demonstrates the speed in which a global audience can act to support online content, even with a big logo in a featured location. Nike does not hide behind social media, but rather highlights its brand prominently, while continuing to fulfill our expectation as the leading provider of superior sports content. The Nike Football YouTube channel houses a distinct design driving the user’s experience seamlessly to Facebook and Twitter touchpoints.

Bud House
Are you ready for an online reality show capturing the passion and competition of 32 fans representing their home country in one Capetown based house during the World Cup? That’s alright, there are still 10 days until Bud House officially opens its doors and if you cannot wait until then, the Bud Housewarming party opens its doors through Facebook June 7. The Bud United Facebook page speaks straight to its core audience posting Monday, “You’ll all be introduced to the bar tenders tomorrow and…well, let’s just say that 66.6% of them are easy on the eye – Irish, Canadian and Russian ready to do their duty.” The Bud United YouTube channel is part of a smart social media strategy by the brand, expanding its reach by connecting each online consumer touchpoint. So often brands seem to just check the YouTube box without a cohesive strategy giving a purpose to every social media asset pulled into a strong platform. Bud really got it and fills a soccer fan niche focused more on lifestyle and entertainment rather than the facts and stats offered up by other brands.

Fox and ESPN mobile
Broadcast channels now meet us in between the TV and computer for those times without enough soccer – in line, on the train, on your friend’s couch watching soccer with a laptop in front of you. Fox and Audi have teamed up to bring you as close to the South African action as one mobile device possibly can, even naming the free app, Ticket to South AfricaESPN offers up its own take on the mobile fan experience along with a microsite positioning ESPN as the one-brand stop for all things World Cup. Between the two apps, resources abound to satisfy even the toughest soccer cravings with current scores, rankings, stats, photos, videos and venue information.

eTeamz
Soccer fanaticism is often born in backyards and parks around the world, developing into amateur leagues from kid up to adult. Now it is incredibly simple to connect players, parents and fans with your own, often free, site. It took me less than three minutes to set up a test site, housing information such as game and practice schedules, team messages, photos and a tab to spotlight sponsors. Pre-organized fundraising via Support the Team options such as cookies, magazines and a Team Store with auto individualized T-shirts and caps are a saving grace for busy Moms, coaches and kids.

Enjoy this season’s content and go team!

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