RealTime IT News

Yahoo!, FIFA Sign United

Web portal Yahoo! continues seeing success in inking new sponsors to FIFAworldcup.com, the site it produces on behalf of the Federation Internationale de Football Association, which will now host ads from air carrier United Airlines .

On Monday, Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Yahoo! and FIFA said United had agreed to advertise on FIFAworldcup.com, the official site for the 2002 soccer World Cup matches, taking place in Korea and Japan.

Financial terms were not disclosed. Through the sponsorship agreement, the air carrier will sponsor the "United Time Converter," which lists game start times in users' local time. In addition, United will sponsor various promotions and sweepstakes on the FIFAworldcup.com site, including a contest to win a trip to the Cup finals. That contest also will be up for bidding in a co-branded auction on United's Web site.

In return, United will be promoted in static and rich media ads across the site. The carrier's Web site also will appear on the World Cup site, as will an interface to its booking engine -- enabling visitors to purchase tickets directly from the site's "Destination Asia" area. Additionally, United said it would promote its United Mileage Plus frequent flyer program in ads on FIFAworldcup.com.

Also, United will receive promotion across Yahoo!'s own network.

"We are pleased to welcome United Airlines as an integral part of FIFAworldcup.com at a time when prestigious global brands such as United are carefully selecting their marketing opportunities," said Randy Bernstein, a vice president at Yahoo! charged with overseeing the relationship with FIFA. "This global program provides United the ability to leverage its own online assets against those of FIFAworldcup.com in order to target highly-qualified consumers."

Added Herman Tiemens, marketing manager at United for Asia and the South Pacific, "As a global airline serving five continents, the worldwide appeal of football makes sponsorship of FIFAworldcup.com a natural fit for United."

The news is the latest marketing win for the FIFAworldcup.com site, which in recent months has signed a slew of marketers eager to reach a global audience.

Last week, Royal Philips Electronics signed on to sponsor a rich media, play-by-play section dubbed "Philips Matchcast." The Dutch consumer electronics giant received both signage on the site and inventory across Yahoo!.

Yahoo! has been representing the FIFAworldcup.com site since September 2001, when the portal signed an exclusive deal to develop, operate and market the 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cup sites. In addition to United and Philips, Budweiser , MasterCard International, adidas and Motorola .