World football’s governing body, FIFA, could face a huge financial shortfall due to the ongoing lack of sponsors ahead of next year’s World Cup in Russia.
The current financial malaise is a product of the corruption crisis that has dogged the football body in recent times.
FIFA’s reputation has taken a massive dent and sponsors are finding it hard to associate themselves with the body despite the fact that football remains an attractive proposition more than ever.
The football body normally enjoys huge revenue streams at the World Cup however the latest edition slated for next year could be different due to the lack of sponsors.
The lack of sponsors has delayed the announcement of the sponsorship program for Russia 2018 despite the fact that the 32-cast of countries for the tournament is complete.
After television rights, sponsorship program is the most important revenue stream for FIFA but the football body is clearly struggling to fill it up to further highlight the damage its present reputation status has caused.
For the last World Cup edition in Brazil, FIFA declared its sponsorship program six months before the final draw for the tournament since the available slots for regional tournament sponsors had been filled.
For Russia 2018, the football body has filled up its ranks of top-tier partners with firms in Russia, Qatar and China however only one of the 20 slots available to regional tournament sponsors has been claimed.
According to Patrick Nally, a sports sponsorship executive who helped set up FIFA’s first international marketing program four decades ago, the present financial status of FIFA tells the story about how toxic the brand is.
In his words, Nally said: “It’s not surprising it’s been and still is a toxic brand.”
“Unless you are from China or somewhere like that, where the fact FIFA is in court in New York and associated with corruption doesn’t matter, no corporation is going to consider it safe to get involved with FIFA.” he added.