World Cup Final 2014: Stars vs. Cash Cows

I am sure, almost every one of a business or finance grad heard about BCG Matrix. But how many of you have thought that theory of a consultant is not so different than the actual final truth of the 2014 FIFA World Cup?

The BCG Matrix[i], also called The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) Matrix, is a simple, visual way to examine the likely financial performance of your product or business portfolio. Management consultants at the Boston Consulting Group developed their matrix in the early 1970s. They designed it to help managers at large corporations decide which business units they should invest in. The BCG Matrix have two dimensions namely industry growth rate, which attempted to capture the potential cash usage of a business, and relative market share, which was a surrogate for overall competitive strength and hence the cash generation potential.

5 P’s of Football

There is no doubt that the model is simple, communicative and very useful. Well, the World Cup is also very simple (find 22 people, divide them into two teams, let them play in a stadium or similar place, if the ball passed from a straight line into a basket, you will score one); communicative (people are crazy about watching the games, love to sing, jump, laugh or cry together); and very useful (you can set price, sell tickets and earn some money, sell them some products even you can make some promotions)

Team of Stars vs. Individual Cows

Sorry if you find the sub-title mean or insolent. But that is not what I intent to do. I was thinking about the final game of the World Cup and nothing more than that.

Germany: Stars

  • A team of “team players” that worked hard at all times to ensure the team remains robust at all times
  • Not every player has the same quality of skills, but everybody is working hard to help other players in the field
  • Not very creative, but always ready to change given tactics
  • Playing for the team, not for themselves
  • They have a target and are all motivated
  • 11 stars in the stadium


Argentina: Cash Cows

  • A team of “a star and his supporting parties” that worked hard time to time to ensure the team is looking good at all times
  • Not every player has the same quality of skills, but everybody is looking for Lionel Messi (cash cow) to help them in the field
  • Quite creative, but not ready to solve complex problems
  • Playing around a few stars
  • They have a give target, but are not sure if they want to get it right
  • 1 or 2 cash cows in the stadium


Now, please take a final look at the Matrix. You will immediately find that Holland and Brazil also take their places.


Holland: (Question Marks – Problem Children)

Aren’t they the problem children in the tournament? They sometimes played as a team, sometimes wanted to play beach volley at Zeeland, a beach in NL. We all know that life is not fair, but the good thing is a football game is around 90 mins long. No need to be sophisticated too much, we only need concentration. I am talking with you Sneijder but not with you Robben.

Brazil: (Dogs – Pet)

Please do not judge them with the unbeatable negative score 7-1. That is the only final result. The team has been warning us for years, and the only thing they said is “Wait. This is Brazil.” I think this business card is no longer acceptable even in Brazil. An executive summary sheet that explains what is World Cup, why they are coming together and what for they are playing in Brazil and what kind of advantage this is would be extremely useful for the players.


You and Your Team

Let me ask you a final question: When you look at your team and yourself at work, what do you see? How do you position your team and yourself?

Believe me, you can always change!




[i] Mind Tools

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