According to Jim Gorczcya, Budweiser UK marketing director, the World Cup is one of the few times when brands need to pull together to work with each other, as well as with the retailers, in order to maximise the potential of the event.

"A lot of brands, as well as retailers, have a World Cup initiative so this is the first time this year we will all be going in the same direction."

Many of the official company sponsors of the World Cup say they want a dedicated aisle in store for World Cup merchandise, and this is something the retailers have been happy to embrace. Sainsbury, for example, has a World Cup area in some of its stores following their success with previous football tournaments. It reports that impulse products, such as beer, crisps and snacks, as well as football T-shirts, are selling well.

Melanie McLeod, business manager for Gillette male blades and razors, says it is important retailers maximise the World Cup experience in store. "Retailers are the last link. There are only 15 sponsors so there is a benefit by stocking and displaying all packs ­associated with the event to maximise the ­assets we bring." She adds that each retailer's approach is ­different, but is confident this year will be very successful. For ­example, Gillette is working with one retailer to hold a ­penalty shoot-out competition in ­selected stores. Budgens, meanwhile, launched a special Touch of Swede pie with the help of Sven and ­Nancy lookalikes.

Mark Sugden, director of customer marketing at UBUK, also says retailers should be doing their utmost to push World Cup products, but adds the onus is on manufacturers to provide products and merchandising material.

"Every major retailer will ­create a strong campaign but we have to provide them with reasons to create excitement in areas such as snacks and impulse," he says. "That's why we are pushing ­branded cardboard outers."

Wholesalers and buying groups have also got in on the World Cup action. Nisa-Today's has launched Football Crazy, which invites members to take to part in football themed days at depots, with the chance to win prizes. The events will be supported by former ­England footballers, including Sir Geoff Hurst and Jimmy Greaves.

Londis is sending Football Fever branded point-of-sale material to its retailers to enable them to cash in on the action. Packs include face paints and balloons for events that are held in stores.

Spar has also got in on the act with 'Result - half-time satisfaction, full-time treats', which will take advantage of the feeding frenzy expected during matches. Beer, crisps and frozen pizzas will be on offer in the campaign, which will also run across own label products.