Wednesday, March 19, 2014

FIFA World Cup 2014: Pokemon Stadium

The teams have been selected and the World Cup is just around the corner. There has been a last minute team added to the cup this year, and it happens the be comprised of Pikachu and friends. Yes, there will be Pokémon in the stadium this year! If you don’t get that joke it probably just means you didn’t grow up glued to a Nintendo 64 like I did. It’s ok though, all you need to know is that Adidas, The Pokémon Company, and Japan’s National Team will be teaming up in a new exciting marketing plan. 

For those of you who don’t know what Pokémon are, they are creatures from a Nintendo series that dates back to their original release date of February 27th, 1996 for the original Gameboy. The creatures are used in both battle and companionship within the Pokémon world. The ultimate goal is to defeat the eight gym leaders in the region, defeat the Pokémon League, and of course catch them all. For all of the sports people who have no clue what they just read you probably can at least gather that these creature compete in a league. It kind of like sports.

Anyway, the real reason for this article is to highlight Japan’s marketing plan which brings these two very different worlds together. If you ask any American in college or younger “what is something that Japan makes?” I can bet you a good majority will tell you Pokémon. Japan’s national team in the grand scheme of the cup isn’t fantastic, but with the help of these fictional characters they will draw some more eyes this summer. 

Adidas is heavily involved in this plan. It makes sense that Adidas would want in on an idea so out side of the box due to their share of the sports market being crowed by up-and-coming brands like Under Armour. Recently Pikachu made an appearance with Adidas in Japan to break the news of this partnership. 

As of right now the only thing we know behind the project is this partnership will be a part of Adidas’ “Engine Project”. The “Engine Project” encourages players on teams to act as a single “engine” and foster team unity. This brings to light that Adidas is hoping to get younger viewers to tune into the games this summer. More than likely their will be some sort of merchandise to purchase through Adidas for this promotion. It may seem like Adidas is focusing on Japan’s youth, but they know they have a worldwide market that they will be appealing. 
It will be exciting to see Pikachu trot onto the field before team Japan this summer. This partnership is an interesting collision of a virtual world sport and a major real world sporting event. I have to say it may be difficult to defeat a team who’s captain is a foot tall yellow mouse that summons electricity from its cheeks. 

Zachary Cintron is a pre-junior in Drexel's Sport Management program with a minor in Music Theory and Composition.  Zach also writes for his personal blog, Sports and Music Weekly. You can follow Zach on Twitter at @cintronz.

Connect with 
Zachary Cintron on LinkedIn.


  1. This is really cute.. :) Because of this Pokemon for FIFA world cup photo, I remembered the stuff from Google Maps, they have this cute game like search for 150 pokemons that can be found on Google Maps.. :)

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  3. If I were to see those Pokemons on World Cup, that would be really awesome, haha!
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  4. I am not in to anime's but I know Pokemon because they are really popular. Now it interests me.
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