The Football World Cup is back. This big sporting event held every four years, brings together millions of fans all united in passion, fun but much more in income.
Apart from the Olympics, The Football World Cup is the biggest tourist event in the world.
Over a million people will descend on Brazil for this show piece which gets underway on June 12. But for the hundreds of millions who will remain at home, the event will be as live to them as to those who are in Brazil. Television sets will get their highest viewership in four years as football fans will be glued to their sets following matches and emotions as their favourite team or nation plays.
But the Football World Cup is much more than a mere sports event. It is an opportunity to market the country and for many businesses huge, big and small, it is an opportunity to cash in on the passion. Through sponsorship and advertisement, many brands compete for precious air time to showcase their wares to a waiting global audience.
In countries as poor as many in East Africa, many business from large telecoms, beverage companies and electronics firms to individuals like that peasant woman who is able to stock a few bottles of beer or local drink, this is an opportunity to make some money.
Just by placing a television set in a room to attract football fans, such a vendor can double or treble sales since football like, alcohol is compatible with emotion.
As you read this T-shirts branded by the famous names we are used to watching in the English Premiership, La Liga, Bundesliga or Serie A are selling off the shelves.
Pay TV adverts are raging and subscriber numbers are surging as each videotheque or home readies for the World Cup.
Many employers are scratching their heads trying to balance between ensuring that productivity continues while at the same time the workers remain motivated.
This is so because unlike tournaments held in Europe after working hours, this years’ event will feature matches from 6pm to 2am. This may create some situations where workers may have to report late for duty. In Europe and much of Asia or the Americas, the timing is perfect since it is during the holiday period. But for Africa, still struggling to catch up with the rest of the world, every minute counts.
One thing remains for sure. The World Cup will ignite passions, emotions and opportunities for those who have laid their strategies well. Whatever happens, whoever wins, whether it is your team, player or country, make sure it is profitable to you and your business.
This will only happen if you exploit the abundant opportunities this football fiesta brings. Remember it will take another four years to host a similar tournament apart from the mini feast of the European Nations Cup. Be a winner with the World Cup.