The Marfrig Group recently signed up as a sponsor of the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups™. Here, the company’s CEO, Marcos Antonio Molina dos Santos, talks about the agreement and what it will bring to Marfrig’s brands.
Mr Molina dos Santos: What does Marfrig expect from this sponsorship agreement with FIFA?
Marcos Antonio Molina dos Santos: The Marfrig Group has 92 offices and manufacturing plants around the world. The acquisition of Seara last year gave us an excellent platform on which to strengthen the brand and the company reputation on a global basis directly with the consumer. Our agreement with FIFA will allow other brands within the Marfrig Group, such as Moy Park, Paty and Pemmican, to build on the success of the Seara football sponsorship in Brazil. This summer for example, Seara branding will be visible on the boards of all the games at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. We are incredibly proud to be sponsoring the FIFA World Cup as well as the competition in Brazil in four years' time. Our focus until then is to continue to grow the awareness of the core brands within the Marfrig Group and Seara in particular in order to maximise our presence in 2014.
What is your sponsorship programme for the 2010 FIFA World Cup?
Marfrig will strengthen it’s brand Seara and enforce it’s visibility within our target group. Marfrig’s product category for FIFA is frozen food and meat. So delivery of food directly in the stadium is not part of the sponsorship agreement.
How does this sponsorship agreement fit into the range of sponsored projects and sports at Marfrig?
Football is a great passion worldwide. The sport helps improve the quality of life for everyone who plays and it also brings people together. Football is a perfect fit for our communication strategy, which offers healthy, delicious and high-quality food to consumers worldwide. In terms of global brand exposure, sponsorship of the FIFA World Cup is our most powerful tool to show our brands to millions of consumers. Our sponsorship of the legendary Santos Football Club and the Brazilian national team are collaborating a lot with this goal. Santos Football Club players are very young, with a lot of energy, health and joy. These are attributes that fit perfect with the Seara’s brand.
Please tell us more about your other sponsored projects...
Marfrig is still new in the sponsoring environment. In February 2010 Marfrig signed the sponsoring agreement with one of the world’s best team Santos Football Club. As the main sponsor of Santos Football Club, Seara has its logo printed on front, back and sleeves of the shirts of all players. These are worn in all matches and even in training. Key players like Robinho have also appeared in Seara advertising campaigns in Brazil. As an existing sponsor of the Brazilian Football Team, Seara can also make use of the FIFA World Cup logo on its products and advertisements.
Marfrig is also renowned for its responsible, proactive and innovative initiatives on social and environmental fronts. Could you tell us a little bit more about this?
Marfrig takes its social and environmental responsibilities very seriously and implements a number of key initiatives. These include the free monthly supply of its products to hospitals and research centers worldwide, such as Hospital do Câncer de Barretos, to the development and implementation of waste treatment systems and energy generation, such as the biodigester system of the Diamantino complex, in the state of Mato Grosso, Brazil. One of our biggest environmental projects is being developed in the Amazon Biome. To prevent deforestation of the forests, Marfrig has developed a monitoring system for its rural properties. This means that cattle is only purchased from producers who effectively apply sustainable management systems.
What was crucial for your decision in sponsoring the FIFA World Cup?
It is key for us that our partners have similar ideals and practices. FIFA has several social campaigns, for example the official 2010 FIFA World Cup Campaing '20 Centres for 2010'. The campaign is to achieve positive social change through football by building 20 Football for Hope Centres for public health, education and football across Africa. This is in accordance with our social responsible initiatives we have been talking before. The FIFA World Cup is the world’s largest and most prestigious sporting event, delivering for us measurable media value, category exclusivity and the opportunity to reach our target consumers and reinforce the brand credibility.