Explained: FIFA’s World Cup sponsorship structure

FIFA sponsors Brazil 2014

FIFA’s sponsoring structure explained

After the World Cup in Germany in 2006, FIFA devised a new business strategy which entailed a new sponsoring structure consisting of the following three categories of sponsors: FIFA Partners, FIFA World Cup Sponsors and National Supporters.

The spots for the ‘gold category’, FIFA Partners, are limited to six businesses which benefit from the closest link of all sponsors with the FIFA and its events (tournaments, official or friendly matches, conferences, etc.). They further play a “wider role in supporting the development of football all around the world, from grassroots right up to the top level at the FIFA World Cup”.

The second, ‘silver’ category is comprised of the sponsors of a World Cup. Such an engagement is for a limited time only as it entitles the companies to global rights to one FIFA Confederations Cup and one FIFA World Cup only. Benefits include the use of the strong FIFA brand in all marketing communications in the run-up and during a tournament, exclusive marketing opportunities, media presence, as well as tickets and hospitality offers at the events.

The National Supporter level is the final level of FIFA’s sponsorship structure. This ‘bronze’ category is tailored to sponsors with roots in the host country which own the rights to communicate their association with FIFA within the domestic market.

Why should companies get involved?

  1. FIFA and its events are strong brands with a global reach. A sponsor’s partnership with such a potent partner can therefore leverage worldwide brand awareness. In addition, people will ideally create associations in their mind between the sponsoring brand and the attributes of FIFA and its tournaments (for example fun, patriotism, sportiveness, globalisation, competitiveness).
  2. FIFA’s sponsorship structure guarantees to each sponsor exclusivity within its product category (only one soft drink producer, only one car manufacturer, only one airline, etc.). This allows the sponsors to distinguish themselves from competitors in their industries.
  3. Even though a lot of products are marketed worldwide with reference to a FIFA tournament, only a selected handful of companies can call themselves ‘official World Cup sponsors’ and can use the official FIFA logo throughout their marketing activities. These sponsors are protected by FIFA and all other companies have to comply with the strict rules set by FIFA in order to avoid confrontation with the powerful football association.

Who’s sponsoring the World Cup 2014?

The figure below illustrates FIFA’s three-tier sponsorship structure for the World Cup 2014:

FIFA’s sponsorship structure
FIFA’s sponsorship structure for the World Cup in Brazil

As previously stated, the six top-tier partners – Adidas, Coca-Cola, KIa/Hyundai, Emirates, Sony and VISA – have signed long-term agreements with FIFA which last for 4 years. They pay a combined $177 million annually. World Cup Sponsors collectively transfer $524 million to the accounts of FIFA and about $120 million are earned from Brazilian National Supporters.

References: FIFA 1, FIFA 2, WM 2014 News, News AU

Picture: Sky Sport Austria, FIFA

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