Fifa could lose up to £50m as three sponsors sever ties

Joe Hall
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Feeling the heat? Blatter loses three sponsors. (Source: Getty)
Three sponsors of Fifa during the 2014 World Cup have decided against renewing their contracts with football’s under-fire governing body.
Castrol, Continental Tyres and Johnson & Johnson have followed the lead of Sony and Emirates in cutting ties with the organisation by not renewing their deals.
As “second tier” World Cup sponsors, each of the three companies’ backing was worth between $10m (£6.7m) and $25m (£16.7m) a year to Fifa.
Sponsorships are a key revenue stream for Fifa, bringing in around £1bn annually. Many who campaign for reform, such as New Fifa Now, argue that only by targeting the organisation’s wallet through sponsors can change be brought.
Fifa’s image has become tarnished by a number of scandals including allegations of corruption surrounding the World Cup bidding process which saw the tournament controversially awarded to Qatar and its botched handling of a subsequent investigation into the matter.
However, a number of key sponsors remain committed to Fifa for the long-term. In 2013 Adidas renewed its sponsorship deal until 2030 while Visa and Coca-Cola are also tied to long-term deals.
Furthermore, Samsung and Qatar Air are said to be in talks to replace Sony and Emirates.
In a statement, Fifa marketing director Thierry Weil shrugged off the loss of the three sponsors:
Rotations at the end of a sponsorship cycle are commonplace in the sports industry. It is natural that as brands' strategies evolve they reassess their sponsorship properties.
Yet the recent withdrawals could still heap yet more pressure on the Sepp Blatter-led organisation ahead of next week’s deadline for nominations for the presidential election.
Blatter, who is running for a fifth term in the role, currently faces competition from three candidates yet only Fifa vice-president Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein of Jordan looks to be a viable challenger.
Former Fifa executive Jerome Champagne and David Ginola (in a Paddy Power-backed campaign) have also put themselves forward, but both look unlikely to receive the nominations of five national football associations necessary to run.

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