3 Ways to Sponsor the World Cup

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Partners, Sponsors, Supporters…… What’s the Difference?

I’m assuming that anybody reading this blog or visiting our site Intelligentfc is watching the World Cup this month. And besides watching the games we are being bombarded with different sponsors logos moving around the electronic boards. During halftime and anytime possible commercials are using the FIFA logo. But what is a partner? A Sponsor? A supporter? And why does it make a difference?

3 Part Structure

After the 2016 World Cup in Germany, FIFA decided to restructure their sponsoring format. It now comprises three categories of sponsorship: FIFA Partners, FIFA World Cup Sponsors and National Supporters.

FIFA Partners

FIFA Partners is the highest tier of the sponsorship triad. It is limited to 6 sponsors who have the highest level of association with FIFA and all its events including but not limited to tournaments, matches (friendly and official), and conferences. The mutual benefiting relationships it not limited to international tournaments but also has bigger role by supporting grassroots and the development of football gloabally.

As FIFA explains:

The standard rights package includes:

  • The use of the Official Marks
  • Exposure in and around the stadium, in all Official FIFA publications and on the official website
  • Acknowledgement of their support through an extensive FIFA World Cup sponsor recognition programme
  • Ambush marketing protection
  • Hospitality opportunities
  • Direct advertising and promotional opportunities and preferential access to FIFA World Cup™ broadcast advertising

FIFA World Cup Sponsors

Sponsors have rights to one FIFA Confederations Cup and one FIFA World Cup. It is a limited contract but includes the use of the FIFA brand in all marketing communications before and during the tournament, exclusive marketing opportunities, media presence, as well as tickets and hospitality offers at the events.

National Supporter

The National Supporter level is the last of the triad. This level of the sponsorship structure is reserved to sponsors within the host country. It is tailored to the specific domestic market.

Where did all the Sponsors Go?

Getting sponsors for the 2018 tournament had been one of concern for FIFA. Most western sponsors had not just pulled out of their sponsoring roles when Blatter and FIFA came under the spotlight for corruption but there weren’t any lining up to take their spots either. Luckily salvation came from the East and especially that of China. China holds 7 of the 20 major sponsorship roles in the 2018 World Cup a huge difference to the one they had at the last tournament, with just one sponsor.

The biggest deal is said to be with the WANDA Group but the exact details have not been released. I’m assuming it’s a ridiculous amount of money. One sponsors numbers have been let out. Vivo, the smartphone makers deal will FIFA is, supposedly, €60m-€70m a year until the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, this comes out to a whopping €400m sponsorship deal.

How does this Advertising affect the Global Market?

Not surprisingly the biggest spender is China, ironically, a team not even competing in the World Cup. From an advertising standpoint they are not only competing but taking home the trophy. It is estimated that they will spend $835 million on advertising at the World Cup. This is double that of the U.S. which will spend an additional $400 million, and host nation Russia, which will see a $64 million increase. With an estimated global audience of 3.5 billion people it’s no wonder brands are jumping at the chance to get into sponsorship deals. The media industry is expecting advertisers to spend an additional $2.4 billion globally during the tournament. While these are huge numbers it’s hard to tell what kind of deals FIFA could have made if it hadn’t been plagued with scandal and corruption inquiries shortly before the start of the tournament.

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