Turmoil at FIFA: What do Sponsors Say?

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Hi guys,
A lot to talk about. The amazing Champions League Final, Messi, what Champions Leagues sponsors and non sponsors did around the event and the FIFA bribery allegations. Let me start with the latter. A big turmoil at FIFA at the moment, and the question I have been wondering is: What do FIFA sponsors say about all this?

Just to recap. FIFA has marketing affiliates broken down in 3 categories.
1. FIFA Partners:
adidas, Coca-Cola, Hyundai-Kia, Emirates, Sony, VISA

2. FIFA World Cup Sponsors
Budweiser, Castrol, Continental, McDonalds, OI, Seara

3. National Supporters
Itau, Liberty Seguros, Chocolates Nescau, FIFA.com, Football For Hope

So what do FIFA affiliates have to say about the bribery allegations the football governing body is going through? Obviously, being linked to a global company which is going through a major crisis has unavoidable knock on effects. Some FIFA partners and sponsors have already raised concerns.

adidas for instance said: “The negative tenor of the public debate is neither good for the sport of football nor for FIFA as an institution and its partners.”
The 3-stripes is a FIFA partner for more than 30 years, and its strong links with FIFA shall lead to fans putting adidas and FIFA in the same basket. I read on Twitter today @sensisuperstar saying: I will not buy any sony products until they put pressure on FIFAcom to remove current FIFA president.

Coca-Cola joined adidas’ concerns today. A Coca-Cola spokesman said: “The current allegations being raised are distressing and bad for the sport. We have every expectation that Fifa will resolve this situation in an expedient and thorough manner.”

Fans are angry with what is going on at FIFA and its sponsors are also targetted. Have a look at a screenshot of my TweetDeck yesterday. Out of 7 tweets, 6 concern FIFA, 4 are negative comments about the football governing body. Fans raise their voice more and more and social medias is obviously the perfect platform.

Now, it will be important to have a strong scrutiny on how things evolve at FIFA and within its affiliates. Let me be clear. I think what is happening at FIFA is appalling. This said, there are good, qualified and very competent people working at FIFA, and everybody should not be put in the same basket.

So far, what fans want is change, and they want change now. A Tweeter account named @changeFIFA is officially lobbying to make FIFA a democracy and give fans the right to vote for the FIFA President. This account has 8754 followers.

Karl Lusbec

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4 thoughts on “Turmoil at FIFA: What do Sponsors Say?

    Stephen Dyson said:
    May 31, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    Its a reflection on how corrupt the regim is when the public and FA’s pressure can’t force a change, but our best hope of change is if the sponsors start to pressure the power men by threating withdrawal of funds.

    Blatters rant reminds me of ‘Comical Ali’ the press man for Saddam Hussein who even when the Americans were driving past was adamant that everything was ok, the denial and complete ignorance of the situation is shocking.

    The current farce is making the worlds most popular game look a shambles, and the 2018 & 2022 world cups will forever be known as the ones that were bought.

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    Karl Lusbec responded:
    May 31, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    Hi Stephen,
    True, there are things to change at FIFA, and fans + the FA are raising their voices. However, I am not 100% sure it’s the sponsors’ job to put pressure on FIFA. I believe they are all in a difficult position.
    On one hand, FIFA’s bribery allegations drag their name to the dirt. On the other hand, it’s a difficult for them to start lobbying against a partner. What Coca-Cola and adidas did so far was to be vocal about their displeasure, and that was the right thing to do.
    Now we have not gotten to a massive boycott of Sony, VISA, coca-cola and adidas products, but if it gets that far, I don’t doubt these global brands will make the right move.
    Finally, all football manufacturers work closely with FIFA on World Cup kits approval for example, and therefore all of them need to manage relationships. Not an easy situation for all…

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    […] Focusing its Champions League sponsorship on the Playstation platform only) and FIFA competitions (Sony is a FIFA partner). I am not too bad as a football marketer […]

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    […] May 2011, I was echoing sponsors and partners concerns following the first bribery […]

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