I often talk on this blog about FIFA’s sponsorship strategy. As far as I am concerned, it’s one of the smartest and most efficient sponsorhip strategy in our industry. Recently, FIFA has tweaked its sponsorship strategy around the World Cup by changing its ‘national supporter’ category into a ‘continental supporter’ category for the 2018 event in Russia.
What is the FIFA current sponsorship strategy?
After the 2006 FIFA World Cup FIFA unveiled its new commercial strategy, the main feature of which was a new, three-tier sponsorship structure.
The primary tier consists of the FIFA Partners, the second tier of FIFA World Cup Sponsors and the third tier of the National Supporters for each FIFA event.
The six FIFA Partners have the highest level of association with FIFA and all FIFA events as well as playing 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.
This allows FIFA and its Partners to form true partnerships, adding great value to the engagement for both sides.
FIFA World Cup Sponsors have rights to the FIFA Confederations Cup and the FIFA World Cup on a global basis. The main rights for a sponsor in this tier are brand association, the use of selected marketing assets and media exposure, as well as ticketing and hospitality offers for the events.
The National Supporter level is the final level of FIFA’s sponsorship structure, allowing companies with roots in the host country of each FIFA event to promote an association in the domestic market.
One major benefit of FIFA’s sponsorship strategy is the wide product category exclusivity which is afforded to all Commercial Affiliates, allowing each brand to distinguish themselves from competing brands in their product category.
The diagram below depicts how FIFA’s three-tier sponsorship structure will be implemented for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
What does the change mean?
The change means that the third-tier FIFA sponsorship will be open to companies on the same continent as the host country rather than companies exclusively from the host country.
Brazil 2014 has four national supporters – trade and investment agency Apex-Brasil, Sao Paolo-based bank Itaú Unibanco, insurance company Liberty Seguros, chocolate manufacturer Chocolates Garoto and English-language school Wise Up.
“We have changed from national to continental”, said Jérôme Valcke, secretary general of world football’s governing body, at the opening day of the 2012 Soccerex Global Convention in Rio de Janeiro when asked whether there would be any changes in the World Cup sponsorship model from 2018.
“Russia is in Europe so any company in Europe [can be a third-tier sponsor] where in the past it would have just been Russian companies only…so it will make it easier to sell sponsorships at the third level.”
A very smart tweak that widens FIFA’s strategy to get new sponsors on board. Companies that want to jump on the FIFA World Cup ship and are neither established on the local market nor have the financial backup to be part of the first 2 sponsors categories, have a significant opportunity to tie their brand to the biggest sport event in the world.
[Source: FIFA and Sportbusiness]