World Cup Sponsors: A Primer

With the World Cup on the doorstep, we thought we would discuss some of the sponsors and sponsorships that are an enormous part of the money making power of the tournament. Our survey of non-soccer fans has identified Gatorade and and Red Bull as prominent soccer sponsors, yet neither will feature prominently during the World Cup.  FIFA sponsorships are big business and only a select few can join those storied ranks. Click on our Twitter feed on the right to see some of the new World Cup commercials from around the world.

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.  It was therefore surprising when it was announced that little known Chinese renewable energy company, Yingli Green Energy,  had joined titans such as Budweiser and McDonalds in the upper echelon of sports sponsorship.  The deal entitles Yingli to stadium advertising, the use of the FIFA mark, prime real estate in fan zones and much more.

Few events offer the worldwide reach of the World Cup and Yingli is taking an enormous gamble that sports fans will bring market share.  According to the Sports Business Journal, “Yingli signed its World Cup sponsorship because it believed soccer’s popularity would help the company raise brand awareness in key markets such as Germany, Italy and Spain, and potential markets such as Brazil and Africa.”  In addition, Yingli is hoping to develop relationships with other business and business leaders to increase brand awareness and sales.   Yingli develops, manufactures and sells photovoltaic modules and trades on the NYSE.  The company joins new MLS sponsor Continental Tire (a lower level World Cup sponsor) under the FIFA umbrella.

Some other World Cup sponsorship notes:  McDonalds will be leveraging its World Cup sponsorship around the world….but not in the United States.  For a new adidas ad, click here.    For an entire list of FIFA sponsors, click here.