Last night Grant Wahl tweeted that the FIFA World Cup bidding process was not quite finalized. Despite expectations that the winner of rights to the 2018, 2022 World Cup (along with other events including Womens World Cups and youth tournaments), would be announced Thursday or Friday, Wahl has reported that FIFA has requested new bids. Wahl’s suspicion is that request means that FIFA is looking for higher bids. So how much money is at issue? Bids are expected to go well past the combined $425 million bid for the 2010-2014 US rights package. However, this round of bidding includes two host countries (unlike Brazil) in “unfriendly” time zones for US audiences.
In what other ways does FIFA make money? Tier-One FIFA World Cup sponsors pay almost $125 million for the right to reach 30 billion sets of TV eyeballs and almost 3 million stadium attendees. Add in the enormous investment necessary to leverage the FIFA relationship (through ad materials, hospitality events, commercials, etc…) and only a serious company can join the elite group of eight World Cup partnerships offered by FIFA.