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Wednesday 29th May 2024, 2:00 PM (BST)

World Cup 2014: How can Small Businesses make the most of it?

Strict licensing rules may be in place, but small and medium enterprises (SME) can still use the World Cup as a major opportunity.

It’s one of the biggest sporting events on earth, but although it arrives only once every four years, many smaller businesses tend to dread the Fifa World Cup.


As the teams descend on Brazil businesses are afraid they will lose productivity and custom – researchfrom Close Brothers recently found a quarter are worried about staff absenteeism, 23 per cent are concerned productivity will drop, and 46 per cent are expecting more requests for leave.

What’s more, strict licensing rules mean that smaller companies can’t always use the brand recognition of the event to their advantage.

Only the sponsors who have paid to do so can reference Fifa or the World Cup in relation to products and services without permission. But as a new report in the Guardian demonstrates, there are still plenty of ways that small and medium-sized enterprises can use the international tournament to their advantage.

For example, the report says St Austell Brewery is launching Rain Forest Gold, a special beer associated with Brazil in honour of the event, which it expects to be popular with pubs where fans will be watching the matches.


Virtual receptionist Moneypenny is also hoping to benefit from an increased number of people leaving work early ahead of a game’s kick-off.

Non-copyrighted designs such as flags are also perennially popular and provide plenty of opportunities for firms to develop World Cup merchandise. Ultimately, it comes down to being creative.

Not all of the benefits will be seen immediately, as the London 2012 Olympics have shown – the success of the event has trickled down into the economy. The UK and Japan recently signed a deal to collaborate on the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which the government claims could lead to major supply chain deals benefiting small British businesses.


Nicola SchaeferManaging Director of LFC ELITES, a joint venture between LSBF and Liverpool Football Club, believes there are plenty of ways businesses in all sectors can get involved.

“Sport, like business, speaks an international language,” she says. “Major sporting events will always provide an irresistible window of opportunity for businesses of all sizes and types to reach a worldwide audience, and this doesn’t just apply to manufacturing industries.

“During such events, everybody with a passion for sport becomes a manager, every enthusiast is a coach. The opportunity to inspire people, not just to improve their own sporting ability, but also to acquire or engage with new products, skills and experiences, is never greater than during a major global sporting event.”



Top image: Fabio Rodrigues Pozzebom

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