With the World Cup set to get underway on June 14, businesses around the world are looking ways to capitalize on the sporting tournament.
CGTN’s Alasdair Baverstock reports from Mexico’s capital on how that country is preparing for the event.
In Mexico City, Jose Fidel Martinez runs a bar that bills itself as the home of Real Madrid in Mexico, called the Barnabeu.
His strategy will not change for the international tournament when he hopes his bar will become the home of the Spanish fans.
“We have positioned ourselves as a bar for Mexicans, and for Spanish people,” he told CGTN. “As you can see, it’s a Real Madrid-themed bar, and it’s very unusual to find fans of other teams in here, and the Spanish community in the capital know that they have a dedicated place where they can watch and support their team.”
While Jose Fidel’s business strategy focuses on team preference, other companies are casting a wider net.
Clothing stores offer free balls with minimum purchases, a bottled water company offers a chance to attend the big games, while the World Cup sticker album has attracted kids and adults alike to mass swap-meets.
Sporting analogies are even used to encourage people to vote for their political ‘teams’ in next month’s presidential elections.
Diego Andrade, the founder of a popular football magazine, said that for Mexico the tournament represents far more than a simple sporting event.
“Mexicans, in reality, get excited over very little,” Diego Andrade, the founder of Apuntes de Rabona, a popular Mexican football magazine said. “We aren’t a winning country, but football carries a great social weight. It’s a reason to get together and celebrate, win or lose, and to forget for a while some of the larger problems that we are living through.”
Mexico faces a daunting challenge in the tournament. They’re in the so-called ‘Group of Death’, alongside Germany, Sweden and South Korea. But the public here is nevertheless hoping against hope that the stars will align, and the goals will go in.
And for businesses to turn this national passion into greater spending at the cash registers–, incisive strategy — much like in the beautiful game itself — is vital.