Philip backs Flat TVs in last sponsored World Cup

Royal Philips Electronics NV, Europe's largest consumer electronics maker, will spend a "substantial'' part of its annual marketing budget of about US$1.3 billion before and during the 2006 FIFA World Cup. "We see this as a good return on our investment,'' Rudy Provoost, who heads the company's consumer electronics unit, told reporters at the company's flat-television production and development factory in Bruges, Belgium. Consumer electronics, the Amsterdam-based company's largest unit by revenue, is benefiting from consumers buying flat-TVs ahead of the World Cup, which will start in Germany on 9 June and is expected to attract a cumulative TV audience of about 30 billion people. At the same time, people buy flat-TVs as they switch from bulkier glass-tube television sets, Provoost said.

Philips paid FIFA, football's governing body, about 30 million euros to be one of the official sponsors at the tournament however the company will not remain a sponsor for the 2010 and 2014 World Cup events, Joost Akkermans of Bloomberg reported.

See also: Philips technology for World Cup entry and lighting (29 Apr)