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Will "Bending It Like Beckham" Make Yahoo! Relevant Again?

 

Today, it was announced that Yahoo! would differentiate itself from competitors such as Google by offering 'exclusive content' only available through their Yahoo! channel. For those that would like  to 'Bend It Like Beckham,' Yahoo!'s 600 million global users will have exclusive access to interact with football great David Beckham and activities pertaining to the World Cup games in Capetown, South Africa.

Yahoo! Sport PageYahoo! Sport Page



Built into the campaign, fans will be able to access exclusive content from Beckham in addition to Yahoo!'s already robust offering of microsites, compelling mobile experiences, fantasy games and  tools for more than 20 countries.




The three main components to the partnership between Yahoo! and David Beckham:

  • A David Beckham channel within Yahoo! Sport’s coverage of the World Cup, where Beckham will share David BeckhamDavid Beckhamhis thoughts and his experience on playing and scoring in three consecutive tournaments.
  • In anticipation for the 2010/11 football season, football fans will have the opportunity to directly connect to David Beckham and ask him questions through various Yahoo! channels, including Yahoo! Answers, Y!Mail and Y!Messenger.
  • Beckham’s participation in the Yahoo! marketing campaign throughout the summer of sport.
While the goal of this innovative offering is to drive more users to use Yahoo! search, it seems like a small effort compared to the powerhouse of Google and its foothold in the search engine market. Back in January, I reported on Bing flexing their marketing muscle with TV advertising this past year to compete with Google - see "Google vs Bing vs China - Which Yuan Wins?"

Search Engine Marketshare 2008 vs 2009Search Engine Marketshare 2008 vs 2009
However as you can see from these marketshare comparisons, while Microsoft's Bing was able to move the needle from 2.7 percent in 2008 to 3.1 percent in 2009, Yahoo! actually experienced a drop in marketshare, from 9.4 to 7.1 percent.

Is "Bend It Like Beckhman" enough to provide Yahoo! the impetus to become relevant again today, as their press releases infer: "Yahoo!'s vision is to be the center of people's online lives by delivering personally relevant, meaningful Internet experiences."

It may be a case of too little too late - but let's hear from those that continue to use this search engine? Your thoughts, comments, rebuttals? Vote in our POLL.

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Ron Callari
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