If tying into the world’s most popular sport by way of a high-exposure, kid-targeted event that crosses cultural and geographic boundaries sounds like the kind of youth promo opportunity you’ve been looking for, then you should know about the Fox Kids Cup.
What began in 1999 as a regional football championship organized by Fox Kids Latin America and involving a mere seven Latin American teams, has since grown to encompass more than 200,000 players from 24 different countries. Each participating country has teamed up with its predominant youth football organization – whether it be a school or a community association – to run a series of domestic tournaments starting this month that will determine who plays on the girls and boys national teams, each of which is comprised of 10 kids under the age of 13. Then it’s on to the Netherlands to compete in the finals this June.
‘Linking the FKE brand to football is a winning situation – that’s an absolute given,’ says Shari Donnenfeld, executive director of research and marketing for Fox Kids Europe and the Fox Kids Cup. ‘Football is a total kid passion. I can’t do focus groups with kids anytime close to the World Cup. We seriously have to plan our research around big games because football is all they’ll talk about then.’
For companies looking to associate their brands with football-mania in a kid-dedicated way, FKE is offering Fox Kids Cup sponsorship on a number of different levels: local brands can choose to get involved with their home market’s regional tourney; companies can pick and choose several countries according to where their product is distributed; and the international tie-in level can involve exposure at all the domestic games and the finals. Last year’s championship match was broadcast on 14 Fox Kids outlets, meaning that 150 million people in 75 countries could watch the game. In addition, Fox Kids Europe produced 300 hours of programming that featured game clips and team/player spotlights in 18 different languages. Branching out past its own network perimeters, FKE is in negotiations with some terrestrial channels to widen the event’s total television penetration.
Beyond the draw of all this broadcast time for on-air brand exposure, FKE will work with sponsors to arrange on-site initiatives like signage and sampling, as well as giving tie-in partners feature space on its 17 international websites.
Danone (Holland, Italy and Brazil), Adidas (Holland and Italy), Kellogg (Spain and Argentina) and McDonald’s (Brazil and Chile) all signed on as multi-country sponsors last year, with UNICEF and Nike coming in as global sponsors.