July 06, 2006

Lovers In A Canoe

Budweiser is the exclusive beer sponsor of the World Cup, to the chagrin of the fans forced to drink the stuff inside the stadia. Of more interest for the rest of us watching on TV is the KoB's stadium advertising boards alongside the pitch. Anheuser-Busch put the Chinese name "百威" to the signboard in equal prominence to the "Budweiser" name in classic script. An interesting choice of advertising tactic, especially considering the games are being played at 11pm and 3am out here in East Asia. Although the broadcasters do rerun the games multiple times during the day. You think A-B is interested in the China market a little bit? And it's no coincidence that Stanley Roach's been making regular visits, too. You know Morgan Stanley wouldn't be sending out the big guns unless there's big money to be made. Or it's the signal that the fad's just gone over-the-hill.

Spent three weeks at the factory, but thankfully CCTV was broadcasting all the games live, although the coverage was awful. They had live commentators on-site, but with only one non-football person calling the game, there wasn't a color guy to add... color to the play-by-play. So the commentary consisted of barely comprehensible Chinese transliterations of the player names punctuated by an occasional "Ai-Ya!" or "Piao Liang!". The Taiwan coverage was actually significantly better, good enough so that I wasn't tempted to hit the sports bar every night at 3am. They had the color guy who almost seemed to have a clue, plus I had more luck understanding the Taiwan-accent Chinese compared to the governtment-issue Beijing accent of the CCTV guys. Next step would be carrying the English feed on SAP like ESPN does for Champions League games, but I won't be holding my breath for that.

Posted by mikewang on 10:08 AM