4 things to take from Leaders ’14


Plenty going on at Stamford Bridge this week. Here’s my pick.

1 The Heineken Cup will now be known as The Former Heineken Cup

Heineken’s Hans Erik Tuijt is good value as a panellist, in addition to being the spitting image of American golfer Jason Dufner.

Tuijt said he was unsure about the name of the new top-level Champions Cup competition and joked that he would prefer to continue calling it the “former Heineken Cup”. The underlying feeling is that the much discussed shift to ‘the Champions League model’ is harder than it looks.

Also, my favourite stat of the week: Heineken has just over 1% of the global beer market. Who knew?

2 Turning up is more important than being clever

Both would be good. But longevity is probably the most underrated marketing strategy. Being there for a long time, being seen as a pillar of the community. All that is stuff that doesn’t make headlines – ‘Sponsor renews for third time’ – is not the stuff of column inches. But it works. Heineken’s place in rugby – see 1 above – is due to being there since 1995. The rest – the fun stuff – is mostly window dressing.

3 We want to party in Brazil, but do we want to do business there?

Most of the media coverage and sponsor activation running in to the 2014 Fifa World Cup portrayed Brazil as party town. When the event ran efficiently it was reported with some surprise. A good point was made by Marcelo Martins of Apex Brazil, the government agency tasked with promoting trade links: The legacy of Brazil’s hosting of the Fifa World Cup may not be physical, but relates to changing the stereotype of Brazilians as lazy, party obsessed and unreliable.

4 Blatter will be the white knight in the Qatar story

Tell me this is not how it’s going to play out: In a year’s time, Sepp Blatter will be the hero of the hour. He didn’t vote for Qatar and instigated the Garcia report in to the bidding process, the findings of which will never be published. Blatter persuades the country to accept a compromise, give up the World Cup, host a number of other Fifa properties over the next decade and save three years of turmoil in the international sports market. The decision is taken to take the 2022 World Cup to America. Sepp Blatter wins the Nobel Prize for Peace. Satire dies.

Photo Credit: an untrained eye via Compfight cc