The 2014 World Cup in Brazil may be on the other side of the Earth from China, but that doesn't mean the country's companies aren't finding quirky new ways to cash in on the festivities.
One of the most interesting areas of innovation has come in the form of new types of insurance plans aimed at the most hardcore soccer fans in China, who often have to stay up to the wee hours of the night and early morning to catch matches broadcast live on TV from Brazil.
Online insurance company Zhong An is providing a range of beautifully-named products like "drunk insurance" and "football hooligan insurance," according to the South China Morning Post. "Drunk insurance" covers the medical costs of any fan who gets too intoxicated during the revelry, "football hooligan insurance" covers accidents, and "claims can be made related to disability or death incurred, with part of the medical costs covered," the newspaper reported.
"Gourmet insurance" is for fans who fall ill with "acute gastroenteritis" during the tournament. And "night owl insurance" is also on offer. Supposedly costing as little as 3 yuan ($0.48), it "covers medical and emergency expenses related to acute respiratory infections and includes a death claim of 10,000 yuan" for 30 days after purchase, according to the Morning Post. Drunk insurance has been the most popular of the unorthodox plans so far, according to sales data from the website Taobao.
Xu Lin, a life insurance firm senior consultant, said the plans are gimmicky, but that they represent novel approaches to selling standard insurance during a unique event.
"The presentation may be different, but these products are actually accident or health insurance products," he said.
The insurance plans aren't the only interesting new products being sold during the World Cup. Fake doctors notes are also available via Taobao, according to Shanghaiist.