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England's poor performances may deter sponsors

Tue 29th Jun 2010 | Football Sponsorship

Speculation surrounding Nationwide’s plans for its long-running sponsorship of the England football team intensified this week after the national side was dumped out of the 2010 World Cup by Germany.

According to Marketing Week, Nationwide’s 11- year long contract backing the team is due to an end on July 1. However, the brand has apparently let its exclusive renewal negotiation period run out earlier this year amid reports that the two sides had differing ideas on financial size of the deal.

With England failing to make any further progress in the World Cup it is likely the Football Association’s bargaining position will have been reduced. The building society maintains that it is still in negotiations and no decision has been reached.

Speculation exists that the FA is most likely to seek potential partners within the ’new media’ sector, with brands touted including Facebook to mobile companies such as O2 and Orange.

However, others point to international brands that need to build awareness in the insurance and healthcare sectors as more likely candidates to take Nationwide’s place on shirts.

Meanwhile, the side’s poor performance in South Africa will only have a short term affect on sponsors’ sales projections but won’t dampen the FA’s efforts - or indeed the cost of the deal - to secure future sponsors, according to the European Sponsorship Association chairman Karen Earl.

“[England’s exit from the World Cup] will obviously be disappointing to sponsors who would have had an enormous benefit from the hype generated if the England team had progressed,”she says.

“However, people have short memories and will continue to want to get behind the team and show unity and national pride more long term, and sponsors want to tap into that, and are in it for the long term benefit” she added.

Pippa Collett, managing director of Sponsorship Consulting agrees: “Inevitably in the short term there will be a negative feeling in the country because of the team’s performance, but England has The Premier League, and therefore access to the best players so we’re still in the top league of footballing nations, so England has all to play for when it comes to sponsorship,” she says.

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