How Nike, Pepsi, MillerCoors Are Ambushing the World Cup

Brands Unofficially Linking Up to Big Event

By Published on .


With much fanfare, the athletic brand has begun rolling out the Brazuca, the official match ball of the 2014 World Cup. Adidas allowed fans to name the ball via a public vote last year. They picked "Brazuca," a colloquialism used to describe something intrinsically Brazilian. Pushes for the ball include several films and a promo that promises free Brazucas to newborns.

A-B InBev's global campaign by Anomaly, called "Rise As One," captures the "moments that unite football fans worldwide." A black-and-white TV ad shows dramatic scenes of fans getting ready for the event. The brand has also partnered with Vice on a series of digital shorts that document soccer cultures from around the world, including Darfur, Thailand and Texas.

The beverage brand is launching its biggest campaign -- "The World's Cup" -- in more than175 markets. At the centerpiece is the film "One World, One Game," which invites young people to attend the tournament. Coke has also unveiled short films featuring unique groups of soccer lovers, including a team of grannies and an an Argentine football player who has no arms.


Though it's not an official sponsor, Nike's efforts around the World Cup are already picking up steam. One spot focuses on the pressure faced by star players in the run-up to a big match. The brand has also unveiled the Magista soccer shoe, which, like the neon shoes that garnered attention during the London Olympics, is brightly colored and sure to be noticed.

Although A-B InBev is the official World Cup sponsor, MillerCoors will get in on the action by aggressively advertising on Univision, which has the U.S. Spanish-language rights to the event. A Hispanic ad for Coors Light will feature Luis Amaranto Perea, who plays for Cruz Azul in Mexico.

Pepsi may not be an official sponsor of the World Cup, but it's going big with its first global campaign for soccer. "Now Is What You Make It" marks the largest global effort yet for both the brand and the company; about 100 markets will implement some aspect of the campaign. It's a play on the brand's "Live For Now" push.

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