Pikachu has been chosen as Japan’s official mascot for the 2014 Soccer World Cup. Since he’s a fan favorite and easily one of the most recognizable Pokemon in the franchise, I feel Japan made a great choice in making Pikachu their team’s mascot.
Pikachu will be representing the Japan National Football team “Samurai Blue” and will be joined by ten of his Pokemon friends. This includes classic Pokemon such as Squirtle, Charmander, and Meowth as well as the some of the new Pokemon featured in Pokemon X/Y such as Fenniken, Chespin and Froakie. With so many Pokemon joining the tournament to represent Japan, let’s hope Team Rocket won’t get involved.
In addition, the Pokemon will be wearing special uniforms of the team during the event as part of a partnership with Nintendo and Adidas.
The 2014 Soccer World Cup will be held in Brazil in June. With Pikachu and his friends representing Japan, it’s sure to be exciting.
Editor's Note: I think it's important to point out the significance of the a choice like this. Knowing how Russia botched the handling of the Olympics, it makes sense that Japan would want to put a friendlier face on the event being hosted in their nation. It's an excellent opportunity for them to build cred with the younger soccer fanbase, and their choice of a video game character speaks volumes about which generationt they are appealing to.
I personally find the choice while brilliant to be a little plastic for my tastes. I think branding a sporting event so brazenly really just cheapens the whole affair. It says that Japan is willing to whore their sporting events out to the highest bidder. I'm surprised their mascot wasn't the Toyota Prius. Maybe next year.