Tuesday, June 22, 2010

APSOTW Extra Credit - World Cup Assignment

Hi folks, I've been a bit slack with my posting this week; and thought it was time for some updates. I'd like to start with a special APSOTW competition in honour of the world cup.

Now normally Northern Planner or Rob Campbell take care of these, but as this is a topic I felt strongly about I have taken the reigns temporarily...


The FIFA World Cup is the biggest single sporting event in the world. Watched by billions of people around the world, it brings nations together in a unique way.

The beautiful game becomes the obsession of entire nations, everyone wants their country to win the ultimate prize in football.

But you already knew that...

The brief is this:

The rights to produce and sell the Official FIFA World Cup 2010 ball are expensive (around $350m I believe), with the event providing a huge opportunity for publicity and communication from sports brands.

However, Adidas have had to spend two weeks defending their World Cup ball (The Jabulani) against loud and widespread criticism from players, manager and the media.

The ball is being blamed for everything from the initial lack of goals, poor performances, lack of goals from free kicks, lack of player control, lack of pass accuracy and loss of shot accuracy.

Given the significance of the event and Jabulani product for Adidas; how should they react to the professional and public criticism?


As this is an extra credit assignment I won't make it too strenuous...

  1. You have 2 sides of A4 for your answer. You can use these in whatever way you wish. You can scan them / email them / post them, whichever is easiest for you!
  2. You should consider both the professional and public criticism.
  3. Closing date is July 11th (7.30pm GMT) - Kick off for the World Cup Final
  4. Judges: Graeme Douglas - (Planning Director on Nike!), Rob Campbell, Moi, others may follow...
  5. Have fun!


john dodds said...

Since you shouldn't be associated with a bad product, they have to admit they were wrong, fire everyone and rebrand it for beach volleyball.

What do I win?

Rob Mortimer said...

A free chuckle...


There you are!

Pablo Edwards said...

If the ball falls within the legal specifications of a World Cup ball, Adidas has nothing to apologize for. NO one can prove a different ball would produce different results.

Rob Mortimer said...

They probably don't have anything directly to apologize for in terms of spec. I'm sure that it could be proven, these are people who make a living from using balls, I'm sure they are capable of understanding the difference.

But that's besides the point. This is a question put to people on what Adidas should do. The details of that are down to anyone who wants to enter, I'm sure there are lots of different opinions.

Anonymouse said...

Not wanting to be a spoil sport. But I am wondering what the benefit for those involved in this contest is.

Rob Mortimer said...

Anonymous - Well it's mostly a bit of fun for students/jnr planners who want a chance to get their thinking looked at by senior people (and also me).

A number of these have been done across the planning community. It's a nice thing for students/grads to talk about when going up against 100's of other people for graduate jobs.

Anonymouse said...

Is there any benefit for the senior people?

Rob Mortimer said...

Yes, they get a heads up on who the smart new planners are!

It's not like this is a six month long formal slog of work, it's a bit of fun for planners or people who like planning.

Anonymouse said...

I thought that's what blogs are for.

Rob Mortimer said...

In a way, but this is better!

Zeljko said...

could not find your email anywhere so I'll do it this way.

As mentioned, there is no bigger sporting event in the world then the WC. And the most important sporting item at the biggest sporting event is the ball.
The previous balls have always been criticized and while the tournament winded down the criticism drove down. The same is happenning right now.
I.e. after trashing North Korea, Portugal's coach Carlos Queiroz said "We love the ball.”

Since this WC is already running Adidas should not do a thing.
For the next World Cup it could do a couple of things to counter the inevitable ball criticism.

First - have a group of players who will work together with the good people of Loughborough University, and certain stages of that process would be made open to public.
This way, the creation of the ball would be transparent and the players that worked on it would also be the spokesman for the new ball. If the ball is good enough for Steven Gerrard or Lionel Messi, it is good for anyone.

Second - follow it all by a campaign that focuses on skill of the players. Show great passes and goals through the years with different balls.
Real ballers never make excuses for underperforming. They simply try harder. The ball is there just to assist their greatness.

World Cup and the game itself is about balls, not about the ball.