In about 4 years time we'll remember the final game of the 2010 Football World Cup as a rather dull and physical game with lots of fouls and yellow cards. Of course Andres Iniesta's winning goal will never be forgotten, but otherwise the final game was a bit of a letdown.

Usually I don't mix sports and product placement – in my opinion the word 'sponsorship' is better suited for those occasions. But the final game had an example of sponsorship/product placement that was quite extraordinary. Before the kick-off Fabio Cannavaro, the captain of Italian team that won the World Cup in 2006, carried a special case to the field. It was a Louis Vuitton travel case with the FIFA trophy in it.

Fabio Cannavaro with the Louis Vuitton case (Source: Action Images)

The case was introduced on June 1, 2010 in Paris. This special order travel case, was (like all other Louis Vuitton special customization orders) handmade at the company’s original workshop in Asnieres. The case has been designed to accommodate the FIFA trophy, which measures 36 cm in height, weighs 6.175 kg and is made of solid 18-carat gold.

Naomi Campbell at the presentation of the 'World Cup' travel case (Source: Louis Vuitton)

The cooperation between FIFA and LVMH, a French holding company and one of the world's largest luxury goods conglomerate, represents the next step in the development of football marketing. Thirty days of the World Cup have shown us that football is the leading global sport and the World Cup is possibly the biggest sporting event (with Olympics being the No.2 obviously). But football fans are not only football fanatics that can easily remember even the most insignificant information – football fans are also casual observers, those who like to watch good-looking footballers, statisticians, WAGS … Collaborations such as the one between FIFA and Louis Vuitton, will make football even more interesting to different segments of fans. And sometimes it's more fun talking about fancy travel cases than watching the game ;)

It will be very interesting to see if FIFA’s going to use such travel case in 4 years time. If so, which company will make it? My bet is on Louis Vuitton.

“Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

Fabio Cannavaro with the Louis Vuitton case (Source: Action Images)