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Yes, in case you're wondering that is Moy Park chicken advertising at the World Cup

There’s a little more to it than that though.

IF YOU’VE WATCHED a match during this World Cup and had an inexplicable urge to eat a chicken kiev afterwards, this is probably why.

Ireland might not be represented on the pitch over in Brazil, but the presence of a well-known Irish brand on the surrounding advertising hoardings has aroused much befuddlement.

Moy Park has been has been gracing our screens along with Neymar, Van Persie, Messi and the rest, leaving many people wondering how a Northern Ireland chicken company has been given the same marketing opportunity as global brands like Adidas and Coca-Cola.

It’s all because of Moy Park’s parent company, Sao Paulo-headquartered food producer Mafrig. So explains Andrew Nethercott, director of brand marketing at Moy Park:

Mafrig struck up a deal with FIFA ahead of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. It was a two-tournament deal so we knew this opportunity was coming for a while.

Mafrig is in fact one the largest food companies in Brazil and the fourth largest beef producer in the world with revenues of around €1.5 billion in the first three months of 2014 alone.

The company bought Moy Park in 2008 to establish a firm foothold in the European market.

“The deal we have is that if a South American team is leading the game then the Mafrig logo appears and if a European team is leading that the Moy Park brand is show, ” says Nethercott

Mafrig got particularly lucky last night when its branding was displayed as Lionel Messi scored his first goal of the World Cup a clip that will undoubtedly will be repeated and shared for years to come.

Source: Alomgir Mou/YouTube

Far from being a small Irish company however, Moy Park is itself a billion-euro outfit with a presence on both sides of the border 12,000 employees across Europe.

“We’ve have global ambitions,” says Nethercott. “The advertising gives us a great platform to grown the brand especially across Europe.”

Responding to questions about the company’s sponsorship of local sports, Nethorcott pointed to their partnership of Tyrone GAA as an example of their involvement closer to home.

And as for working with FIFA, Nethercott says his experience is that they are a “very professional organisation” and make things “very straightforward”.

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About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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