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Sporting superheroes help benefit brands

8 March 2012

Less than 24 hours after Lionel Messi’s superhuman performance for FC Barcelona against Bayer Leverkusen in the UEFA Champions League, the Global Sports Forum Barcelona 2012 heard how the power of media terminology can help brands.

On the morning of the second day of the Forum the world’s press praised Messi’s five-goal haul the night before, providing a timely example of just how entertainment and sport can influence one other.

Bruno Schwobthaler, Senior Vice-President of Sales and Business Development (EMEA) at Warner Bros, said that the media’s tendency to use « superhero terminology » has a direct impact on itsbalance sheets.

“It’s something that every child around the world can relate to,” said Schwobthaler in the Sport and Entertainment: bridging the gap session. “If you were talking to a child tomorrow would you say ‘Leo Messi is the best footballer in the world’, or would you say ‘Leo Messi is superman’?

“The answer is quite simple. The power of the language the media use and the associations they make directly benefit us.”

Another panellist, USA soccer player Hope Solo, recently crossed the boundary between professional athlete and entertainer when she featured on reality TV show Dancing with the stars.

“We have more demands as athletes now. We have to be the entertainers as well as athletes,” she said. “There are a lot more demands on us than just playing on the pitch.”

The discussion was moderated by Fredda Hurwitz, Global Vice-President of Strategic Planning, Marketing and Communications at Havas Sports & Entertainment.

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