RealTime IT News

Yahoo! Nets Marketing Deals with FIFA, Frito-Lay

With most eyes still focused on its search moves, Yahoo! showed it still has brand advertising strength with the announcements of two marketing deals on Thursday.

The portal extended its deal with FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association) to include the women's World Cup. Separately, Yahoo! struck a deal with Doritos to host monthly music performances in its Launch music section.

The FIFA deal calls for Yahoo! to host and manage all World Cup events until the 2006 World Cup in Germany. Yahoo! will handle production, marketing and sales for a variety of FIFA events, including the women's World Cup and qualifying matches for the men's tournament. Yahoo! inked a deal to host the Web coverage of the 2006 World Cup back in September 2001. The portal produced the Web site for the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan.

The exact terms of the extended agreement were not disclosed.

By extending its FIFA agreement, Yahoo! hopes to build on the success of the 2002 World Cup, which drew 259,000 unique visitors during June 2002, according to Nielsen//NetRatings.

The site will feature live coverage of matches via MatchCast, as well as interviews, official stats and player profiles. The content will be available in English, German and Chinese. FIFA will create all the content.

In addition to the women's tournament, coverage of which begins with the final draw on Thursday, Yahoo! and FIFA have linked up for the men's tournament's preliminary draw, qualifying matches, FIFA Confederation Cup tournament in Germany, and final World Cup draw matches. All tournament sites will be hosted at www.FIFAworldcup.com.

In addition to the FIFA deal, Yahoo! scored an agreement with Frito-Lay for Doritos to be the official sponsor of music performances featured on Yahoo!'s music service, Launch. The Live@Launch program, called Doritos Soundbites, kicks off with a performance by rock group Train. The monthly performances, which are not technically live but recorded, will push viewers to Doritos.com to enter a sweepstakes to see a Live@Launch performance in person. Visitors may also register to win free CDs by submitting information to "Doritos All-Access."

The companies did not disclose financial details of the deal.

The Soundbites promotion will continue Frito-Lay's commitment to use the Internet more for marketing. Last year, Frito-Lay decided to shift its Super Bowl ad budget to Internet campaigns. The move is said to have improved Doritos' sales by 5 percent. The Frito Lay marketing executive behind the decision, Cammie Dunaway, is now chief marketing officer at Yahoo!.

The Yahoo! campaign was designed by Doritos' online agency of record, Omnicom's Atmosphere BBDO. The deal calls for online ads to run throughout the Yahoo! network to hype the event.

A cornerstone of the Frito-Lay move to emphasize the Internet more in its marketing was the idea that it could reach more teenagers. The Live@Launch campaign hopes to continue tapping into that demographic.