Last summer, during the World Cup of Russia, the first with the implementation of the system video arbitration, the VAR He occupied 27 minutes of screen time. Marketing experts value each of those minutes at 691,000 euros. That is to say that the FIFA, if it had commercially exploited that time, it could have entered for this concept 18.6 million euros. Because the VAR it may be the next lode for an increasingly commercialized world of football.
According to published the Financial Times, FIFA has already received the approach of several experts commercial offering the possibility of taking advantage of the stoppages during which the VAR members help the field referee to make decisions to introduce messages
Director of Dorna
"It is necessary to decide if such transcendent moments are subject to exploitation", says Arroyo
The initiative would have its pros and cons from the point of view of advertising interest. In favor it would be the fact that it is usually a moment in which the spectator pays the utmost attention. It is not known during those minutes if your team will be favored or injured by a particular play. The fan is waiting to be informed about whether or not a penalty is decreed or whether a goal is valid or not. At present, the attention of the spectators before the screen is increasingly dispersed by the large amount of technological means at their disposal, but when the VAR is pending, the distractions are reduced. However, they tend to be moments of great emotion and that could have a counter-productive impact on the advertising impact of the message.
"The first thing that FIFA and the regulating entities of the VAR have to decide in the different leagues is whether such a transcendent moment as those of the VAR are subject to commercial exploitation or not. It is a matter of advertising policy in this sense, "Manel Arroyo, general director of media at the company Dorna, which organizes the World Motorcycle Championship and former vice president of marketing at FC Barcelona, explains to La Vanguardia. "I see it as a very sponsable space. It is a moment of attention and tension very high and I think that could interest technology and precision brands. I, of these brands, would ask if it is an advertising space available, "Esteve Calzada, president of Prime Time Sport and CE Sabadell and marketing manager of Barcelona, points out to this newspaper.
Former marketing manager of Barça
"It is a very sponsable space, with moments of great attention," says Esteve Calzada
"We already know as experts in the field," says Arroyo, "that there are things that will never be for sale in the world of sports because they are part of their purity. Although precisely with all the debate prior to the implementation of the VAR was discussed whether it was a tool that undermined the essence of football and actually made it more just and purer, "adds Arroyo, which also affects the possible contraindications of a VAR sponsored. "Interested brands must also take into account that when a resolution is made, that makes some fans happy, but it may anger another part of them, so it must study whether or not it can cause any negative impact "Adds Arroyo. "Even if controversy is generated in the end, I do not think it can affect brands so much because it is not the same as sponsoring referees, who are always accompanied by controversy. In general, most believe that the VAR is something that is being positive, "argues Calzada.
The major leagues have received or will soon receive various studies on the subject. Among them is the Spanish League, always attentive to the possibility of finding new resources.
There is also no unanimity in this regard because UEFA does not want to hear about the matter for now (it was already a slipstream of FIFA and many leagues in the implementation of the VAR) and the Premier, which launches its video arbitration next season, At the moment it is focused on working well in their fields before entering into commercial issues.
Does football need this kind of income? Answer Arroyo. "Well, football is surely at a juncture in which it increasingly seeks more and more income. From this point of view it would be positive because it would be a brand that would bring more income and carry out a series of campaigns that would popularize the sport more ". Other modalities, such as cricket or American football, have already gone through this debate before and have resolved it in favor of exploiting the vein. In football, the number one sport on a planetary level, more and more sentimental barriers are falling for the benefit of the business, as shown by the names and business names of many stadiums or the presence of sponsored boxes. With the salaries of footballers constantly in crescendo, clubs are forced to also raise their volume of income.