Saturday, June 17, 2006

FIFA is pants

The organizers of the World Cup made 1000 Dutch fans remove their trousers before entering the stadium for Hollands match against the Ivory Coast. The reason? The orange trousers, orange being the national color of Holland, bore the name and logo of a Dutch beer company. Anheuser Busch, the makers of Budweiser, have paid FIFA something up to $50m to have exclusive rights to advertise and sell their beverages in the stadias being used for the World Cup.

The attempt to wear these trousers was seen by the organizers as an "'ambush' publicity campaign". Now I wonder what would have happened if, say, the Irish soccer team had qualified. The Irish jersey is sponsored, prominently, by an Irish telecommunications company, Eircom. T-Mobile seems to be sponsoring the World Cup. Would Irish fans be banned from the stadium if they were wearing replica jerseys? Or what if the Czech beer company Budvar and their beer Budweiser Budvar sponsored the Czech Soccer team? What would FIFA do then?

Update: Noticed something while watching the Brazil Vs Australia game. Lots of the photographers along the sidelines seemed to be using Canon or Nikon cameras but Fuji sponsor the World Cup. Since the camera logos are visible on my standard TV they must be very readable on High Def TV's. I wonder if FIFA and other sports organizations will force photographers to cover their camera logos in the future?

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