Brand backers await World Cup 2018 decision

Alan Shearer and Teddy Sheringham: back England's 2018 bid
Alan Shearer and Teddy Sheringham: back England's 2018 bid

Brands such as Morrisons and British Airways will learn this afternoon whether their support for England has paid off when Fifa reveals which nation will host the 2018 World Cup.

  • Peter Shilton and Lara Heath show Thomas Cook Sport's support for London 2018.jpg

    Peter Shilton and Lara Heath show Thomas Cook Sport's support for London 2018.jpg

  • Francesco Mazzella of Casa Mia Leeds backs the Bid1.jpg

    Francesco Mazzella of Casa Mia Leeds backs the Bid1.jpg

  • BT Backs the Bid with a projection on City Hall.jpg

    BT Backs the Bid with a projection on City Hall.jpg

  • morrisons and saatchi.jpg

    morrisons and saatchi.jpg

  • morrisons and saatchi 2.jpg

    morrisons and saatchi 2.jpg

  • morrisons and saatchi 1.JPG

    morrisons and saatchi 1.JPG

  • BA 2.jpg

    BA 2.jpg

  • Book shop owner Mick Edmondson Backs The Bid in Newcastle.jpg

    Book shop owner Mick Edmondson Backs The Bid in Newcastle.jpg

  • Karren_Brady Backs the England 2018 World Cup Bid(npower).jpg

    Karren_Brady Backs the England 2018 World Cup Bid(npower).jpg

  • 05 BT Crouch Hurst.jpg

    05 BT Crouch Hurst.jpg

  • BA 1.JPG

    BA 1.JPG

  • Eamon Gall of City Centre Cruises Manchester Backs the Bid.jpg

    Eamon Gall of City Centre Cruises Manchester Backs the Bid.jpg

  • Howard Webb Backs the Bid with BT.jpg

    Howard Webb Backs the Bid with BT.jpg

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Should England win, PricewaterhouseCoopers, the accountancy firm, has estimated the event will bring what it terms "a conservative" net positive impact of £3.2bn to the economy in the summer of 2018. Annual retail spend last year was £285bn according to the Office for National Statistics.

Several brands have put themselves in a position to grab some of that potential spend by backing the bid. Morrisons, BA, BT and Umbro are top-tier partners, while the likes of Npower, Premier Inn, Eurostar and Heathrow are also providing commercial backing.

England's bidding team, fronted by prince William, prime minister David Cameron, and footballer David Beckham will learn their fate at 3pm today when Fifa announces the winning bid from Zurich, Switzerland.

Some fear England's chances have been harmed by the BBC 'Panorama' documentary televised this week, which claimed to expose three Fifa officials taking bribes.

Russia, a joint bid by Spain and Portugal, and a joint bid by the Netherlands and Belgium are also in the running to host the event.

Business leaders including BA chief executive Willie Walsh, WPP boss Martin Sorrell and Lord Alan Sugar are supporting the England bid.

If England win, Npower's marketing director Kevin Peake believes it will brighten the outlook for his business customers.

He said: "Our own survey of small businesses suggest  that if we do win the bid, they would start investing and planning as early as next year, helping the economy to regain its strength — over £3bn could possibly be injected into our fragile economy."

He said it would potentially provide a huge boost to the marketing and advertising industry, and that global brands would invest more in airtime, print and online advertising.

Andy Anstey, consultancy director at Limelight Sports, the sport's agency that runs events including Nike RunLondon, believes the bid’s commercial partners from "key industry sectors" such as British Airways, Morrisons and Thomas Cook Sports, will benefit the most.

He said: "Tesco, an FA partner, but not a 2018 bid partner would also expect to see a boost for their critically acclaimed Tesco skills football programme, as a World Cup hosted in England would inspire even more young players to take up the game."

But Tim Crow, chief executive of Synergy Sponsorship, believes irrespective of the final result, the bidding process will have had a salutary impact.

He said: "World Cup bids are always controversial and tough to call and this is no exception. There’s little doubt that England’s bid has a lot going for it technically, or that we would put on a brilliant World Cup.

"Is this enough to outweigh by the various problems our campaign has experienced? Maybe. But whatever happens, to me, the main legacy of this bidding process is going to be that Fifa will have to put its house in order, and to be seen to do so."

Fifa will also reveal the host nation of the 2022 World Cup, for which the favourites are considered to be the US and Qatar.

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