“Show your face, Jorge Claros!” I hiss, as I feverishly tear open my umpteenth packet of stickers for Panini’s official World Cup 2014 album. Got. Got. Got. Got. GOT. Disappointment once again as that faceless Honduran midfielder player – that damned number 401 – continues to elude me and my friends, rendering our book incomplete once more. OH THE HUMANITY. And we’re not the only ones.
As the World Cup in Brazil comes to a close, Panini’s iconic sticker book enjoyed somewhat of a renaissance over the last few months. With fans old and new getting involved, the Italian-based publisher, according to the Guardian, was printing on average 750m individual stickers every week to meet demand. In the UK, Panini expected to sell enough World Cup stickers that – if they were lined up end to end – would stretch an incredible 25,000 miles around the world.
And the sticker production is not the only market within the print industry that is likely to have benefited from the biggest football tournament in the world. Below is a shortlist of other sectors that no doubt saw a surge in sales as football fever took over.
- Commercial: Very few businesses would have missed a trick by not integrating the tournament into their sales and marketing. A plethora of print would have be required to promote their footie-focussed offers and deals
- Packaging and labelling: E-marketing firm, Webloyalty, estimated that the World Cup would generate a £271 million boost for Britain’s food and drinks industry. From my own experience, I can confirm that I’ve had a few Brazilian steaks washed down with some cervejas to cope with England’s sub-par performances
- Textiles: PEOPLE LOVE FLAGS! Whether you like them or not, countries worldwide have been draped in flags of all sizes in a frenzy of patriotic celebration. This canny Canadian flag retailer saw a 30% increase in sales…
- Wide format: I can’t remember the last time I didn’t see a billboard that didn’t feature Rooney, Ronaldo, Messi, Suarez et al…
- Screen-printing: And it was good news for screen-printers, with global shirt sales expected to surpass the £30.1 million reported for the last tournament in South Africa in 2010
- Display graphics: For a slightly more stylish and eye-catching display, savvy businesses – particularly in the retail sector – have looked to other applications such as window graphics to make an impression, like this printer in Northern Ireland
- Publishing: Speaking from personal experience, I love nothing more than buying a newspaper and poring over the sports pages each and every day during a major tournament. Plus, the World Cup supplements – like the Sunday Telegraph’s at the beginning of the tournament – are often exemplary. I wouldn’t be surprised if newspapers and consumer magazines like FourFourTwo also saw a spike in sales
I could go on. Fixture wall planners will have adorned lounges and offices nationwide, fancy dress face masks of key players, collectable items, programmes, the actual match ticket, 3D printing (Nike produced a 3D printed bag for players), commemorative books and that’s just the tip of the iceberg! Can you imagine the volume of print that will be used if Germany – nation of the father of printing, Johannes Gutenberg – wins this Sunday?
There is plenty of optimism for the print industry moving forward, and dare I say it, despite an underwhelming tournament for England, for the Three Lions to win the European Championship in France in 2016. What? There is! Well, it’s more likely than me ever finding Jorge bloody Claros.