World Cup footBALLS: part two – the marketing case?

Saturday’s Comment in the Evening Cancer about the World Cup bid went on to claim, “there is the invaluable prospect of fantastic publicity for the city”


In September 2007, Egbert Oldenboom from MeerWaarde Sport and Economics in Amsterdam published research based on the results of a study conducted before and after the European Championships of 2000 that were held jointly in Belgium and Holland.

The purpose of the study was to measure the various host cities’ image and awareness abroad before and after being involved in a major sports event.

Reading through the report the conclusion has to be that publicity for a city hosting matches is dependent upon the success or otherwise of the national team of the country watching.

Put another way, because the German and English teams performed badly in 2000 going out at the group stages, there was a negative reaction from these countries toward the Dutch and Belgian host cities. Whereas the French and Italians whose teams reached the final had a positive view of the same cities.

In terms of overall name awareness for individual Dutch cities, from France, the tournament winners and  the country which saw the largest increase in awareness of host cities, the following results were gathered:

Amsterdam – before the tournament 98.7% awareness, after 99.7%
Rotterdam (host for the final) – before 90.2%, after 95.3%
Utrecht – before 26.8%, after 43.5%
Groningen – before 22.5%, after 31.3%
Eindhoven – before 50.5%, after 68.6%
Arnhem – before 28.2%, after 36.2%

What is particularly surprising about the above results is that Utrecht and Groningen did not even host any games yet appear to have benefitted just as much in increased awareness as those cities that were used as venues!

It also appears the effect of any publicity is short-lived. Just before the 2000 tournament started, respondents were asked who hosted the 1996 tournament – only 12.4% were able to correctly identify that it was held in England. Even British respondents only had a 19.6% success rate with Germany – the winners in 96 – next on 16.4%. All the other countries had less than 10% of respondents able to correctly identify the host country – let alone individual cities within that country!

So the overall effect might be that if Bristol is lucky enough to host, say Brazil – and they win the tournament – we can expect more Brazilians to know about Bristol. If on the other hand they perform badly, the Brazilians will disassociate themselves from anything to do with Bristol.

But don’t worry, good or bad, the effects will all be over by the time the next World Cup comes around …

In the unlikely event you were going to spend around £50m on marketing the city or ‘place marketing’ as Jan ‘n’ Steve call it – as they hang in the ‘breakout space’ – is this really an efficient way to do it?

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16 Responses to World Cup footBALLS: part two – the marketing case?

  1. Anton Vowl says:

    Excellent stuff. If you only got your news from the Pist you’d be forgiven for thinking that a potential bid would be the best thing in the world ever and wouldn’t cost council tax payers a penny.

  2. Martin says:

    Of course, Anton, you just assume that all that BB says is correct.

    Here’s another report, but it doesn’t prove your point so I guess it’ll be ridiculed.

    The 2010 Fifa World Cup will have an even greater impact on the South African economy than previously thought, with consulting firm Grant Thornton estimating that the event will contribute at least R51.1-billion to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

    R51Billion is near enough £4bn, meaning bristol would only need 1/40 of that to make the £100m quoted. This may or may not be right but what I don’t like is BB accusing everyone of bias then only quoting research which proves his point (although I’m not sure that the Dutch research does since it’s clear that, overall, a big event does enhance a city’s publicity).

    Maybe we should just crawl into out hole, shut out the outside world and never show any ambition.

    The World Cup isn’t my cup of tea, as it happens, but I want to live in a city that shows a bit of balls to try things.

  3. BristolMatt says:


    Your right about BB being a tad bias, but I would rather have someone with a bias for truth than spin.

    Given that he is trying to point out the holes in the spin of “professional spin doctors” on huge saleries (compared to mine and I dont get to hang out in a breakout area) I think he does a great job.

    As for the figures, take them or leave them, just ask a few random ppl around you now to name any hosts citys from Euro or World cups and see how they do.

    Bristol is great, we should have “balls” but this wont raise our profile (longterm), I travel abroad a lot, when i say Bristol, people say Banksy or “is that near london”

  4. Wood Harris says:

    For those of you that support the bid

  5. Charlie Bolton says:

    For those that don’t want Tesco (or any other superstore):

  6. inks says:

    The site states: “All of the pages within this site are WCAG 1.0 AA compliant, complying with the UK’s Disability Discrimination Act.”

    The “AA” is a claim that the sites meets all priority 1 and 2 specifications for an accessible page.

    A priority 2 checkpoint is a page validates against it’s docType.

    The frontpage has 13 validation errors:

    There are further accessibility failures, for example without javascript the ‘latest news from the evening post’ widgit doesn’t appear.

  7. thebristolblogger says:

    They’ll have to tighten up on that. FIFA are very keen on compliance to their standards – everything from the quality of hotels (Sepp and his slags can’t stay anywhere donchaknow?) to who can sell beer, to who can play gigs in our city – all at our expense naturally.

  8. old misery guts says:

    According to Mr Guts, last night’s friendly against Ajax at Ashton Gate was a shambles. Tickets were buy at the gate, numbers who turned up exceeded expectations (at least 6 people arrived, probably), utter chaos ensued. After queuing for around half an hour he and Guts Jnr gave up and went for a pizza instead. The idea that these fuckwits could host an international sporting event and manage the influx of tens of thousands of fans looks increasingly far fetched.

  9. Idris Elba says:

    Agreed OMG
    To be honest having moved near the ground a couple of years ago match days have become a nightmare.
    The aim as I see it, is to stop them building Tescos so they don’t have the money to build the new stadium. Lansdown will withdraw his support and with no hope of a bigger ground and no sugar daddy they will be bankrupt.
    If we all act together and support Charlie and Berate we can stop the world cup coming to Bristol and kick football out of south Bristol forever.

  10. SouthvilleResident says:

    Idris Elba,

    This isn’t about getting rid of Bristol City – City have been around for a hell of a lot longer than you have and get a hell of a lot of support from South Bristol and especially Bedminster and Southville.

    Don’t confuse the issue by trying to turn this into something it isn’t – I expect to carry on attending Bristol City games long after this ill thought out supermarket proposal has died the death it deserves…….City don’t need a World Cup to get into the Premier League either.

  11. paul smith says:

    If the City do move and a Tesco is built I expect a share of the proceeds. My great grandparents lived in homes whewre the city ground now is – their homes were demolished to make way for it and the family moved to Knowle West. I will be starting my justice for the Smiths campaign soon.

  12. chris hutt says:

    Paul, I thought the football ground was previously Bedminster Burial Ground. Is that correct?

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  14. Idris Elba says:

    Of course City don’t need a World Cup to get into the Premier League, you silly Southville person. They need to win promotion from the Championship; the World Cup is a competition for countries played every 4 years. Even Charlie knows that….

  15. Chris Millman says:

    Ashton Gate used to be Bedminster Cricket Club, before they got pushed out to The Clanage.

  16. paul smith says:


    Some housing was cleared for the stands. Check an old map of Bristol to confirm


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