Monday, June 19, 2006

Dutch drop 'em

Ambush marketing it might be, but asking Dutch fans to drop their (branded) trousers is farcical.

Thousands of Dutch fans turned up for their team's game against the Ivory Coast wearing lederhosen provided by Bavaria beer. They've become a must-wear in the world of Dutch fashion. OK, those last two words aren't a natural fit, but I doubt the lederhosen were either.

Fifa was not amused, the Dutch brewer is not an official sponsor of the World Cup like Budweiser so naturally asked fans... to take off their trousers.

Some fans ended up wearing their boxer shorts to watch Holland beat the Ivory Coast 2-1. I know it’s pretty hot at the moment, but really the idea of watching football in your skinnies is lunacy.

Fans had to dump their trousers in the bin.

Fifa said that the supporters could get them back afterwards, but few people got them back and remained trouserless.

What a bunch of bureaucrats. Fans suffer so that Fifa fat cats can protect their lucrative sponsorship deal.

It is only going to get worse with the power of the sponsor growing and growing. Fans are an inconvenience. Fifa gave sponsors 14% of all tickets, with national football associations like the FA only getting 8%.

Just listen to Nigel Currie, chairman of the European Sponsorship Association -- he comes across like a bit a local warlord.

"My view is that if there is a deliberate attempt to ambush an event, it should be stamped on."

Stamped on? That's a red card offence isn't it? Get off the pitch Currie.

One fan told The Guardian just how bad it is: "It's ridiculous, I queued for 25 minutes to get in. When I reached the front, an official told me: 'You're not getting in like that'. I took my trousers off. I managed to chuck them over the fence to some friends. But another official spotted them and took them away.

"I watched the game in my pants. Fortunately I had quite a long T-shirt."

There are other reports that England fans had to hand over Nike clothing at last Thursday's Trinidad and Tobago because Adidas is the official sponsor. How far does it go?


At 11:14 AM, Anonymous The Burger King said...

And yet they'll have McDonalds promoting unhealthy, non sporting food right behind the goal mouth for the right money.

Where's the justice hey?


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