Brand Positioning Assignment

By: Iqroop Sahota

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Organized in 1904, the International Federation of Association Football aka FIFA is a world competition of football held in various countries every 4 years. The sport of football is number one in the world. Players and football clubs are world renowned, so when they come together to play in one country, many people would want to view it. Their net profit in the 2014 world cup was $2.6 billion, showing how popular and successful they are.

Current Positioning

Fifa is a billion dollar company, generating the most during world cups. The support of affiliates and brands have made their marketing platform highly effective; which spans over 200 countries. Fifa has it's own video game partnering with Electronic Arts - Fifa 14, 15, and 16 which has been highly successful. They set up fan shops at the world cups selling a variety of things (kits, hats, shirts, toys, etc). For broadcasting, they had earned $2.4 billion, with 214 countries viewing the finals. Their value of marketing and sponsorship had reached $1.6 billion. With tickets, they had sold over 3 million, with a total value of $527 million. Hospitality values at $184 million and lastly, their branding value came to $107 million. Overall, a lot of money had been spent and earned by Fifa through the world cup, making them a highly successful and favourable company worldwide.
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Official Sponsors

The current positioning that Fifa is trying to receive is high quality products, with well played games, which will lead to good ratings so it could become popular within countries. Just as the world cup has done in the past, there are millions of viewers around the world that tune into the different games. A good amount of Fifa's money comes from sponsorship and branding. By partnering with with the top brands in the world, their marketing strategies have been really effective in actively reaching and creating a basis for football in numerous countries. In the 2010 world cup, 3.2 billion people watched the world cup finals, so that makes their brand highly popular and well known. There are also songs made in association with the world cup (ie. We Are One (Ole Ola) Fifa 2014).

Fifa also sponsors through Mcdonalds. The players escort programme sponsored by Mcdonalds is an initiative that gives children from all over the world a chance to walk in to the pitch, holding their football idols' hands. This also encourages football activities for children to participate in. Fifa also supports social projects to get more and more people to play football, as it has been proven to break down barriers to social development, education, and health.

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Fifa's has many direct competitors include the UEFA Champions League. Some indirect competitors include the ICC World Cup, the Baseball World Series, the Commonwealth Games, the Olympic Games, the Superbowl, NBA finals, and Wimbledon. Games like the NBA finals, Baseball world series or the Superbowl are only common in the US. The whole world does not tune in to watch it because basketball, baseball, and football are not common internationally. The competitors sponsors include Nike, Pepsi, Emirates, Gatorade, Hyundai, etc. many of them overlapping one another. NBA also has it's own video game, partnered with Electronic Arts - NBA Live 16. The other sports competitions have numerous promotions including campaigns similar to Fifa, competitions that fans could enter for a chance to win free tickets, and promotions with products and services.
Fifa targets both males and females, usually between the ages of 10-25. These kids and adults would be active and enjoy playing and watching sports. Fifa's target market is undifferentiated.

Fifa has head to head positioning with the other sports competitions. One major benefit that the world cup has is that it is international. Many countries tune in to watch it, which makes it the most popular sport, reaching millions of fans. Fifa's strengths are that they spend a lot of money but make a lot of money as well, they are able to target fans effectively by excellent marketing skills, and they support charity groups in a range of environmental, social, and educational sense. These are supported through popular football players and football clubs, who spread the message. The image that Fifa's brand wants and does portray is an image of friendly, fun, and exciting gameplay. Fifa has an image and people differentiation. They are well associated and supported by popular celebrities, especially footballers and Fifa focuses on the needs and wants of their fans.

Some positioning errors that Fifa may have come across is not being able to communicate their image differentiation being able to provide financial benefits to the host countries, if they require it. Although they do come off as friendly and claim that football is for everyone, many people disregard the efforts they make into helping with financial issues for the game to the host country. The campaigns that they represent should be more clear and evident to fans so they know that Fifa does not only care about money. Fifa may have confused positioning as their image has been associated with positive and negative effects. Fifa claims to be for everyone, but when it comes to actually attending a game, many of the ticket prices exceed the amounts that people can afford (as shown in Brazil 2014). Even though, people are still loyal to this sports company as they have effectively been able to communicate brand's innovative and technological products that turn into a large amount of sales, thus making Fifa more successful than other sports competitions.

Perceptual Map

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This perceptual map for positioning of worldwide sports competitions is based on popularity of the sport and the ticketing prices. Fifa world cup has a high popularity in the world, just slightly under the the Olympics. the ticketing prices depend on which game you attend and which seat you choose; between 100-300+ USD. The Olympic games are is the most popular sports competition in the world but the ticket prices are very reasonable and cheap; $85+. For NBA, that was placed close to middle of the popularity scale just because basketball is not well known or played worldwide. But the ticket prices are reasonable; $100+. Wimbledon has the most expensive ticketing prices; $3K+ and is ranked to be pretty popular as well. World series also has pretty expensive ticket prices; $500+ but attendance or popularity levels are not that high. The Commonwealth games had the cheapest ticket prices; $75+.

Value Proposition

Football is known to be the most popular sport in the world. Almost every country plays it. Fifa has created and partnered with many initiatives that help people all come together to play football. They are known for supporting many charities. The players deliver high quality performance and exactly what fans want to see during games. On their website, they claim that their mission is to develop football for everyone and everywhere. They hope that the tournaments and games will inspire people to do the same. They also have developmental projects and education in many areas, including medical. Their social developments have been very popular and highly successful and with the support of many football players and football clubs, Fifa is able to gain a stronger advantage of these to their fans. So Fifa does not only offer football games but the promotion of all the necessities behind it.

When we look at other sports competitions, not much is heard about the initiatives that they take that are similar to Fifa. The more that fans would know about this, the better advantage Fifa would have; as fans would support them more and donate because they want to be assured that something positive is coming out of it, not just a game. Overall, Fifa has image and people differentiation from other sports because of their consumer focused strategies that target the needs and wants of people, They also hold a well respected image, that has been associated by many celebrity footballers. Fifa has established excellent brand loyalty throughout the years, as it it evident throughout the profits audience numbers. Fifa continues to grow as a whole and hope that more people in the future will be determined to act on the same initiatives and projects that they stand for.

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