Recently Visa, one of the six current FIFA partners, extended its World Cup Sponsorship until 2022. The new contract with Visa will cover the 2018 World Cup in Russia and the tournament four years later in Qatar.
Visa, which is also an Olympic sponsor, now has marketing rights relating to the two largest sports events on the planet – the Olympics and the Fifa World Cup – for the rest of the decade and at least two years into the 20s.
Visa joins Adidas, Coca-Cola Co., Hyundai-Kia and Anheuser-Busch InBev. as the fifth major company to extend as world cup sponsors. German sportswear company Adidas has signed up as a FIFA sponsor until 2030 while Coca-Cola, Hyundai-Kia and Anheuser-Busch InBev. have renewed until 2022.
“Our association with the FIFA World Cup and the entire portfolio of FIFA events differentiates our brand and allows us to offer unique opportunities to our clients around the world,” said Ricardo Fort who is responsible for global sponsorship and marketing at Visa.
Rivalry Between World Cup Sponsors
Visa replaced its rival MasterCard in 2007 ahead of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa following a dispute between the soccer body and MasterCard Inc. that was only settled after FIFA agreed to pay $90 million in compensation. MasterCard, which still remains involved in soccer sponsorship through the European Champions League, had been a FIFA partner for 16 years. They argued it was contractually obliged to a first right of renewal.
FIFA has been fighting criticism that it puts world cup sponsors before what is beneficial the game and football fans. More recently there has been criticism that the Balloon d’Or award has been more decided by sponsorship deals than player performance.
The FIFA World Cup reaches an audience of a size and diversity that is unmatched by any other single-sports body. The appeal of the event and the packages offered make a sponsorship deal with FIFA very attractive. The FIFA World Cup™ reaches an audience of a size and diversity that is unrivalled by any other single-sports body. The World Cup sponsors are seen by the sport’s most-watched event, bringing FIFA’s roster of sponsors global visibility.