Advertisers Kick it Up For the World Cup

With Germany and the world gearing up for the soccer championships, makers of everything from TVs to soft drinks are racing to cash in

Just weeks before the June 9 kickoff in Germany, World Cup mania already is spurring sales of a variety of products from TVs to cell phones to beverages, not to mention soccer jerseys and other sports-related items. Japanese electronics makers Matsushita, Sharp, and Toshiba (TOSBF) all have reported spikes in their most recent earnings -- thanks in large part to rising demand for flat-panel TVs from soccer fans. Sharp may even push up the opening of a new LCD TV factory, originally scheduled for October, so as not to miss out on the summertime sales bonanza.

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