If Australia were to win its bid to host the World Cup, Subiaco Oval could be made the flashpoint for FIFA’s ‘no marketing zone’ policy.
According to a report from Fairfax’s WAtoday.com, FIFA’s current requirements include advertising exclusion zones and ‘clean stadiums’ devoid of marketing.
As Australia’s World Cup organisers prepare to submit a bid for the event in 2018 or 2022, WA government officials are concerned that Subiaco’s location in the middle of its main shopping district will cause major problems.
There are reports that retailers in South Africa, where the event will be held in 2010, are being warned that fines, closures and jail time will be enforced should they breach any of the event’s marketing program requirements.
The FIFA website indicates that organising the world’s largest single-sport event in 2006 cost the association €1.1 billion ($1.8 billion).
It says that as a result of ‘the ambush marketing activities of companies seeking to secure themselves a slice of the rewards illicitly’, FIFA has developed a comprehensive global rights protection program, centred on the registration of all official FIFA marks.
“Before and during the 2006 FIFA World Cup, inaccurate reports frequently appeared in the media claiming that the sale of World Cup buns or World Cup bread by small local bakers was outlawed by FIFA and that the governing body was taking vigorous action against each and every infringement. These reports were, of course, complete nonsense, because there were no instances of FIFA taking such steps against a small business. FIFA’s primary objective is to put a stop to the systematic, commercial abuse of its event marks on a wide scale in order to safeguard the rights of its partners,” explains FIFA’s official website.
“Statistics show that the number of rights infringements has increased consistently over the last ten years. However, while the number of ‘major cases’ is falling, ‘smaller cases’ are becoming more and more common. Nevertheless, our biggest concern is that the rights of our partners are appropriately protected,” said Gregor Lentze, the head of FIFA marketing & TV Germany during the 2006 World Cup.