According to the bookies, England is second favourite to win the World Cup, after Brazil. It would be great if they won but even if they don’t, you could win during this massive tournament. That’s because of the UK’s insatiable appetite for everything football. Up and down the country there will be millions of armchair fans screaming at their TV sets willing the players on. And of course they’ll need to keep their energy up so they’ll need snacks and plenty of beer to wash them all down. If you’ve got an off licence, the World Cup is an ideal opportunity to promote it. Make sure your customers know you’re licensed to sell beer. And make sure you’ve got plenty of chilled, take-home packs in stock prior to kick-off.

It’s only April and already dozens of World Cup and fooball-related promotions have already kicked off.

Budweiser is the official beer of the World Cup, indeed this is the 20th year the brand has sponsored the tournament. Budweiser is running a huge promotion - on more than 100 million bottles and cans - giving consumers the chance to win tickets to Germany to see a match. It runs until May 19 and tickets can be won every 48 hours. In addition, every legal age entrant will get a free download for their mobile entitling them to a range of football games, screensavers and ringtones.

Once the promotion has ended, consumers get one last chance to win tickets - from the Bud Beerleaders. This is a hand-picked troupe of America’s finest cheerleaders which will be visiting bars in Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham and London to give away tickets.

Budweiser might be the official beer of the World Cup but Carlsberg is the official beer of the England team. For 2006, the brand has made its largest-ever investment in a football sales and marketing campaign including a £10.5m spend on TV advertising. Its campaign taps into the nation’s dreams of victory using the inspirational line ’2006...Probably’.

Ged Lowry, take home controller for Carlsberg UK, says: "We have taken our famous advertising strapline ’Probably the best lager in the world’ and used it to convey the nation’s belief that England can win the tournament. Football will be the talk of the country during June and July and we have put together a programme of activity to help retailers maximise every sales opportunity that football mania provides."

The activity includes an on-pack promotion which gives consumers the chance to win one of a million limited-edition Carlsberg-branded glasses. These are embossed with the Three Lions logo and Lowry believes they will become the ’must-have’ item for the tournament.

He continues: "Our research shows that 63% of people prefer to watch England in the comfort of their own home (TNS July 2004). Carlsberg will be providing the trade with planners and posters to highlight the key match dates to allow retailers to time in-store activity around the points of high demand, especially the England matches."

"Our branded POS materials feature exclusive player imagery to help retailers make the most of Carlsberg’s football sponsorships. Retailers should also look out for five Carlsberg-branded vans. They will have special deals on board, with staff able to offer expert advice on merchandising and display of POS materials - helping retailers generate ’that special football feeling’."

The official soft drinks sponsor of the World Cup is Coca-Cola. The brand’s ’Win a Player’ promotion is under way for the second year running, giving consumers the chance to win prizes totalling £350,000 to spend on players for their Football League or Scottish Premier League club. In addition, any fan who enters the competition three times will be automatically put into a free prize draw to win a pair of 2006 FIFA World Cup tickets.

There will be more activity from Coca-Cola before the World Cup kicks off, but there are no details available yet. All we know is that it will probably include a major on-pack promotion and a TV campaign.

For those footie fans who can’t get their hands on World Cup tickets then blokes’ snack brand Nobby’s has the next best thing. It is giving consumers the chance to win a pub for a night.

The 10 winners of the competition will each get to experience the perfect football night by getting a pub exclusively for themselves and their mates. The pub will be fully kitted out to ensure that the winners have a fantastic viewing experience with free beer and snacks via table service from a Nobby’s barmaid. In addition, one million cans of Carling will be up for grabs. PepsiCo-owned Nobby’s is investing £700,000 in the Win A Pub promotion, which kicks off in May and will run for the 12 weeks leading up to the final. PepsiCo trade marketing manager, Cara Beeby, explains: "Crisps and nuts are the snacks most blokes prefer to eat while they’re watching football - Euro 2004 drove an extra £1m a week in crisp sales during the tournament. Usually manufacturers wait until the last few weeks of the World Cup competition to run their promotions. Nobby’s Win a Pub will be different as it runs 12 weeks prior to the final and allows retailers and pubs to maximise sales during the build-up."

Even Peperami and its animated TV character are getting involved in the tournament with an on-pack promotion for football fans to win one of 500 ’Fanimals’. An SMS draw will run from the end of this month, across 10 million Peperami sticks and Peperami noodles packs. An instant-win promotion will run across a further 2.5 million Peperami five-packs and mini packs.

The ’Fanimal’ is a 30 cm tall, sound-chipped Peperami-shaped shouting football mascot. He is equipped with a number of messages including pitch favourites such as ’Who’s the sausage in the black?’ and ’Whose flaming side are you on?’ as well as choice rants from the Animal himself like ’The referee’s a veggie!’

For fans with a sweeter tooth, Masterfoods is doing something unbelievable to the Mars bar. Those in the know reckon the Mars bar will change its name to ’Believe’ for the World Cup in a promotional tie-in with the Sun. Nothing about the chocolate bar inside will change but this major activity will be the first time the brand has ’fundamentally’ changed its packaging in 74 years.

The word ’Believe’ is being used to get everyone believing that England can actually win the Cup this time.

Sticking with confectionery, specialist sweets wholesaler Hancocks, reckons the World Cup is a bonus season for the sector.

"Its such a great opportunity" says Hancocks purchasing director Richard Brittle, "and it falls at a time of year when the confectionery market is traditionally slowing up. This European-based World Cup is going to put huge numbers of people in front of TVs for many hours. The potential for confectionery consumption, as well as soft drinks and snacks is obviously tremendous."

Hancocks will be stocking World Cup products from the end of this month, and Brittle reckons forecourts should consider a display from this time onwards so their customers start to learn what is available.

Products available from Hancocks’ depots include a Football Lucky Bag, containing an assortment of sweets, football toys and stickers, for £1.49. There will also be 3D Mallow Player Pops and Gummy Football Mix. And with Fathers Day falling within the World Cup, there is an ideal gift in the form of a Football Mug.

Mr Brittle reports that alongside Masterfoods, both Cadbury and Nestlé will be running football-related promotions. Nestlé, which was official sponsor of the 1966 World Cup-winning team, will be running a ’text and win’ promotion on Kit Kat, with 66,000 retro 1966 World Cup shirts up for grabs. Meanwhile Cadbury will be running a promotion in all 15 Hancocks cash and carries where retailers who buy any two outers of Cadbury lines (excluding Taz/Freddo/Chomp) will receive a free FA-licensed limited edition Rooney or Owen figure.

In addition to confectionery, Hancocks will be stocking a wide range of non-food impulse items.

Car Flags will be available in both home and away colours plus, new for 2006, will be car grills. The company expects the 49p England Tattoo pack to be a big seller. Also available will be a selection of £1.99 official key rings.

Whether you like football or not, many of your customers do, so there’s really no excuse not to get behind the World Cup in your shop. Build a display of beer, if you’ve got it, but make sure you keep lots of it on ice ready for consumption when your customers get home. Pile those soft drinks and snacks high and watch those profits roll in.


- Available from Panini UK is the Official FIFA World Cup 2006 Goaaal! collection. Cards retail at 35p while the collector’s binder sells for £2.99.

- New from KTWO is the flag of St George lighter. Available now from Palmer & Harvey and various cash and carries, it retails at 99p.

- Fresh Aer Limited has launched the England Fan, a battery-operated personal fan, moulded to the shape of an England football fan and dressed in the England kit.

- The new Unofficial England Drink, available from Aimia Foods, is a juice drink which comes in 500ml sports cap bottles featuring the England flag. Steve Johnson, head of business development for Aimia Foods, says: "This is a perfect opportunity to tap into the passion England supporters have for their team and take full advantage of the country’s most high-profile sporting occasion this summer."

- McVitie’s Jaffa Cakes has been signed up as the official energy snack of the England football team during the World Cup. Jaffa Cakes will be eaten by the team in Germany to boost their energy levels during training and games. The England crest will appear on two million packs of McVitie’s Jaffa Cakes single, twin and triple cartons. These limited-edition crested packs will be available to retailers throughout England from this month.

- North Yorkshire-based CarSock UK has launched a St George Cross mini wind sock in time for the World Cup. It attaches securely to the windows of vehicles - in the same way that small flags attach - and when moving the sock ’flies’ alongside.

- United Biscuits UK (UBUK) has enlisted Ian Wright as the face of its football-related promotion. The company is giving consumers the chance to win one of 100,000 Wrighty Megaphones so that they can cheer on their team this summer. By phoning a number on-pack consumers can find out instantly if they’ve won. They will also be able to bag one of the megaphones by sending off their promotional pack and £4.99.

- Duracell is running a ’Once in a Lifetime’ promotion giving consumers the chance to win World Cup match tickets and FIFA merchandise.