One of the competing teams is South Korea that co-hosted the previous event in 2002, generating a $260 million profit for FIFA.
The 2002 competition gave a timely boost to South Korea's growing economy.
Korea spent $2.5 billion on new stadiums, most of them in rural areas far from the capital Seoul, thus boosting the local construction industry.
Its participation in the World Cup 2006 is a big deal in South Korea and its banks found a way to leverage this by expanding their customer base.
They offer new and existing customers gifts and higher interest rates for new time depositors during the FIFA World Cup.
This World Cup marketing campaign will last until the tournament ends early July 2006.
Banks and card firms have been capitalizing on the World Cup through aggressive marketing, offering airplane tickets to Germany to new customers, as well as incentives to purchasers of its new time-deposit products.
As the World Cup unfolds, their marketing is also going into full gear.
Shinhan Bank has launched the sale of special time deposit products offering 1% point higher interest rates than ordinary time deposits.
For new depositors, the bank will hold a lottery to offer air conditioners, digital cameras and other gifts.
It also plans to give a 60% discount in currency exchange rates to those who have tickets to World Cup games in Germany.
Korea Exchange Bank (KEB) will hold an event to offer gifts to those who guess the right scores for Korea's games against France and Switzerland beforehand.
Hana Bank plans to exempt service fees for Internet banking for those who buy its stock price index-linked deposits until the end of June 2006.
To quote a KEB official:
“The World Cup is an opportunity for savers to have more interest income.
It also provides banks an opportunity to attract more customers.
That is good for both banks and customers.”
If the Korean team progresses to the next rounds, the bank will offer higher interest rates for some time deposits.
It also promised to offer 10% points higher rates for some deposits if Korea wins the tournament.
If midfielder Lee Young-pyo, the bank’s ad model, scores or sets up a goal during the tournament, the bank will offer 1% point higher interest rate to 200 selected depositors.
Woori Bank will offer 0.2 percentage point higher interest rate to purchasers of its one-year time deposit whenever Park Ji-sung scores.
Card firms have offered tickets to World Cup games and free nights at famous tourist attractions in Germany to winners of lotteries.
They also plan to launch new credit cards giving discounts for football and other sports games.
No matter how the World Cup will end for the teams –the Korean banks are already winners!