BP Quietly Reduces World Cup Sponsorship - TheStreet

BP Quietly Reduces World Cup Sponsorship

BP wastes its World Cup opportunity as Coca-Cola, McDonald's and others make the most of their moment.
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BOSTON (TheStreet) -- Those wondering when World Cup sponsor BP (BP) - Get Report will leave its oily mark on the tournament's advertising may be about a year too late.

Though all of South Africa's World Cup stadiums will be powered by generators full of

BP

fuel, BP advertising has quieted down since its

World Cup sponsorship

was announced in 2008. Content to have placards for its Castrol product scroll by during matches, BP made a much bigger World Cup push as recently as last year.

The company's BP Africa branch is one of the World Cup's

national supporters

and produced World Cup preview ads in 2009 that were not only funny, but regionally relevant in highlighting some of the funnier disparities between segments of South African society.

Mamas vs. cafe owners:

Cab drivers vs. divas:

The spots actually won awards for

BP

, but aren't doing much for the company's image now that millions of gallons of oil are spilling into the Gulf of Mexico on a daily basis. With President Obama railing against an alleged $50 million in image-conscious ad spending by BP, a U.S. World Cup audience wooed by more-fun sponsor spots from

Coca-Cola

(KO) - Get Report

,

McDonald's

(MCD) - Get Report

and

Budweiser

(BUD) - Get Report

have been stuck with woeful and wrongheaded apologies like this:

BP's World Cup stint was fun when all was well, but the company may be best served by taking its ball and going home for the next few weeks.

-- Written by Jason Notte in Boston.

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Jason Notte is a reporter for TheStreet.com. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Esquire.com, Time Out New York, The Boston Herald, The Boston Phoenix, Metro newspaper and the Colorado Springs Independent.