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Friday, 23 August, 2002, 11:02 GMT 12:02 UK
English football advertising dream ends
Marketers will share the sorrow of England fans
England came to a near standstill for its World Cup match with Brazil. But as the dreams of millions of fans were snuffed out, hundreds of marketing campaigns also came to a grinding halt.

English football has missed out on a "colossal" fortune following the country's exit from the World Cup, says a leading academic sports writer.

Professor Ellis Cashmore, lecturer in football culture at the University of Staffordshire, said the England brand was devalued as soon as Ronaldhino's curling free-kick gave Brazil their winning second goal.

Speaking to 4x4 Reports, he said: "The Football Association will be bemoaning 2m in lost revenue from merchandise that would have sold over the next week had England made it into the semi-finals.

"Another 50m could have been made from the top-level sponsorship that comes when a country enters the elite of world football."

Ellis Cashmore
Ellis Cashmore: The FA stood to make millions
Professor Cashmore also calculated each player could have made about 1m from personal endorsement packages if England had brought the trophy home.

When France became world champions in 1998, midfielder Zinedine Zidane was immediately offered a lucrative contract with Chanel.

"I think we would have seen the major fashion houses approaching all the England players," said Mr Cashmore, 52.

"But a quarter-finalist doesn't have the same ring as a world champion."

Beckham brand

David Beckham - who Mr Cashmore calls the "icon of icons" in his upcoming book about the England captain - stood to become the most valuable player in the world.

Beckham recently signed what is thought to be a 5m contract with Manchester United and already has a lucrative portfolio of product endorsements.

Mr Cashmore said: "With world champion status, his value in the transfer market would probably have grown to about 40m.

"His value to Manchester United's merchandise would have multiplied. The club would probably have doubled the sale of Beckham's number 7 replica shirts in the new season."

TV commercials

Also commiserating with England will be ITV, which bought the rights to World Cup television coverage and now stand to lose a lot of advertising revenue.

If England had stayed in Japan, major companies would have been clambering to spend their money on the commercial slots for the tournament's final four matches.

But by far the most downcast at England's failure on the pitch in Shizuoka on Friday will be the Football Association itself.

Mr Cashmore said: "The England brand is already huge - it would have been colossal if we'd won.

England merchandise may be go down in price
"Before the defeat, the FA will have been rubbing its hands in anticipation of the number of extra England shirts, mugs and flags that were set to fly out of the shops.

"It will now probably have to drop the price of these sales."

The association has also been forced to shelve any preparations for special commemorative merchandise.

And, as the England team contemplates a plane journey home without that famous trophy, another blow to the game is the millions of floating football fans who will now inevitably lose interest.

Ellis Cashmore said: "England's 1966 World Cup victory was a huge stimulus for the many neutral fans.

"It also brought a general feeling of optimism about football and it curbed the culture of hooliganism."

Ellis Cashmore was featured in 4x4 Reports: Brand it like Beckham on BBC 1 on 24 June 2002.

Ellis Cashmore on David Beckham
"All the beliefs and ideas that circulate around him make him fertile ground for a marketing person."
4x4 Reports: Brand it like Beckham



See also:

21 Jun 02 | England v Brazil
17 Jun 02 | England v Brazil
10 Feb 02 | England
29 Mar 00 | Education
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