It’s all to play for in the print sector as the Fifa World Cup kicks off in Russia – having already given printers a chance to put their best foot forward and tackle some imaginative projects.
With Russia set to face Saudi Arabia in the opening match of the tournament in Moscow at 4pm today, plenty of print companies have been preparing for the big event with jobs to help push their own brands, and those of their clients.
Although England faces 18/1 odds to bring the World Cup home, British print has already scored highly among clients both existing, new and potential.
Kent-based direct mailer Howard Hunt works with a number of food retailers that commission targeted promotional campaigns during the World Cup, seeing it as a key trading period.
For one of its customers, it produced a run of 400,000 packs providing exclusive discount vouchers to be distributed nationwide. It made use of its Kodak "VJ System" print and finishing line – comprising Kodak Versamark printheads with an Ehret finishing line – to personalise packs that had been printed on a Mitsubishi Diamond six-colour 16pp web press that runs at 40,000iph.
Howard Hunt managing director Danny Clarke said: “We have seen the World Cup theme pulled through on our clients’ creative, formats, offers and messaging. We have seen many of our clients offer promotional discounts during the World Cup to help drive new sales.
“From a business perspective, sporting events can increase staff absences, so we combat this by showing the key matches throughout the offices and factory.”
Bucks-based Colourpoint Litho saw the Cup as an opportunity to showboat its latest skills for clients and leads, using a concept from senior account director Giles Cuthbert to produce a two-sided 'cheer or chill' box which can be opened on one side to provide goodies for football obsessives, and on the other for those who are left cold by the beautiful game.
Colourpoint's 'cheer and chill' box for footie lovers and haters alike
It was printed on an Agfa Anapurna H2500i LED printer and die-cut on a Zund G3 2XL-3200. The design was produced using the newly-installed Impact Designer Professional, which represented a significant investment into box design for the firm.
Business development manager Matt Jonsmyth said: “The World Cup, and other big events like it, are a chance to show off what you can really do. By showing this job to our clients they can see the possibilities within it of how we could help them to promote their own brands in creative ways.”
For some printers, though, it’s about making sure your staff, clients and partners have the essentials in their pockets. Telford’s Prestige Print distributed a run of concertina-folded golf card-style leaflets containing all the fixtures for the initial group stages and fill-in space for all other matches up to the final.
Printed with a variety of different-coloured covers, the booklets were printed duplex on a Xerox C75 production printer, then run through an auto-creaser for the concertina fold.
Sales and production manager Jay Patel said: “These cards have certainly caused a buzz around the office and will help us gain some awareness among clients in the local area.
“We usually do something for every World Cup, it’s a great time to show off and our graphic design team always enjoys bouncing around ideas to come up with the most interesting job.”
Sheffield-based ASAP Digital produced a limited edition, spot-colour poster as a promo, while paper merchant Denmaur showcased UPM Finesse paper and Fixter self-adhesive stock on its wallplanner with accompanying stickers.
ASAP Russia World Cup Wallchart 2018 @pantone printed on our Litho press P2035 P286 @ArjoCreatives Rives 100% recycled bright white 120gsm, @broadcreativeUK available soon ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/PQo3kQVyOM— asap-digital.com (@asap_digital) May 18, 2018
It all begins today.— Denmaur Paper (@DenmaurPaper) June 14, 2018
With the assistance of our mascot, Jenson the golden retriever, we've used the Denmaur World Cup planner to predict how the tournament will pan out. pic.twitter.com/GfjT1TCHxH
The England team will play its first match against Tunisia at 7pm on Monday 18 June at the Volgograd Arena. The two teams have crossed only once before, with England winning 2-0.