KEIR RADNEDGE in SAO PAULO: FIFA is to capitalise on its captive television audience during the imminent World Cup to polish up its tarnished image.
In effect, FIFA will be supplement all the promotional and advertising messages which broadcasters construct around their coverage by inserting its own advertisement into the breaks and highlights.
After a negative cascade of reputation-wrecking scandals – ISL, personal profiteering, votes for cash, bidding chaos, commercial aggrandisement – the world football federation is to project the case for the positive.
This will take the form of a TV campaign entitled Elements which aims to “highlight the governing body’s commitment to global football development and to raise awareness in the fight against discrimination and match manipulation.”
A schedule of 30-second and 15-second animated spots will be screened by all the World Cup’s right-holders “as part of their agreements to broadcast the FIFA World Cup to audiences around the world, and to support FIFA’s development work and football across the globe.”
FIFA, basing its estimates on ratings from South Africa 2010, believes the worthy face of its work will confront more than 3bn fans whether they like it or not.
Communications director Walter De Gregorio said: “This huge platform gives FIFA an amazing opportunity . . . to tell the world there can be no place for discrimination of any kind in football, or in society, and to raise awareness around the threat of match manipulation.
“We also felt it was crucial to let more people know about our work in football development, which is where so much of the proceeds from the FIFA World Cup go to.
“Few people know that FIFA invests more than half a million dollars every day in developing football everywhere, from the grassroots up.”
Various football items such as boots, footballs, goal nets, goalkeeper gloves, corner flags and whistles will be featured in the spot developed by London-based agency Klein & Sons in co-ordination with Dutch animator Rogier Wieland.