Yahoo!, the official World Cup internet partner to the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), set out its advertising and sponsorship wares for the upcoming 2002 tournament on Monday.

According to Yahoo! commercial director Lee Thompson, web coverage of the event – to be held in Japan and Korea – will score more heavily than before. In the UK and much of Western Europe match coverage will be between 0630 hours GMT and 1130 due to time zone differences, providing a substantial boost to online ticker tapes and soccer-dedicated chat rooms.

Thomson believes that with most newspapers not published until the day following matches and the time zone lag affecting TV viewing, there is “a huge opportunity” for the internet to score as lead medium for live reporting of the tournament. Furthermore, internet usage has massively increased since the last tournament was held in 1998.

He will be hawking this proposition around the major London agencies over the weeks to come. First on the hitlist are such obvious targets as the World Cup’s fourteen official sponsors – among them Adidas, Budweiser, JVC, McDonald’s and Visa.

News source: Media Week (UK)