FIFA, football’s world governing body, has hired HHCL & Partners to
develop global brand advertising as it bids to improve its image in the
eyes of football fans.
The appointment was made by FIFA’s Zurich-based marketing partner, ISL
Worldwide, after a credentials presentation. There was no formal
The assignment forms part of a programme by ISL to highlight FIFA’s
values and involvement in football beyond the World Cup. It aims to make
FIFA synonymous with football and as popular as the game itself.
The initiative is a tacit admission that FIFA has been tarnished by
negative publicity in the past, such as a Panorama programme broadcast
by the BBC last year which was critical of FIFA’s then president, Joao
Flavio Battaini, FIFA’s director of marketing, said research had shown
that ’fans wanted to know that their game was in safe hands, and that
there was a leadership that really cared for the sport and had the
necessary strength to keep it pure’.
ISL has outlined three main tasks for HHCL. First, the agency will
create a new image for FIFA, explaining its role and attempting to bring
it closer to football fans.
Second, there will be a specific children’s initiative, which will aim
to get youngsters around the world interested in football.
The agency will also work closely with sponsors, including Coca-Cola,
Mastercard and McDonald’s, to develop more varied outlets for football
The agency will capitalise on the WPP connections of its parent company,
Chime Communications, to manage the global advertising. ISL is intending
to target South America, Europe and Japan in the first instance.
The activity is expected to get under way at the end of this year or the
start of 2000.
ISL has yet to take a decision on which agency will handle the media
buying for the campaign, although it is likely that HHCL will manage the
strategic planning. ISL is intending to use a range of media including
television, press and the internet.