In less than a year and a half, the United Bid of Canada, Mexico, and the United States will find out if their audacious proposal to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup is successful. The United Bid Committee has been tireless in their efforts to promote the bid across all continents. If all goes to plan, 207 member nations of FIFA will vote on June 13th, 2018 at the 68th FIFA Congress in Moscow. The result could not be any more exciting for football fans. However, there’s one roadblock which must first be overcome: securing potential World Cup sponsors. The World Cup is an expensive venture for any nation, let alone three co-hosting nations that are still developing their infrastructure. This means each nation must find financial partners who are willing to invest in the tournament. Here’s a look into four potential FIFA World Cup 2022 sponsors and why or why not they might be interested in investing now or working as a development partner later on…
Coca-Cola has been the most prolific sponsor in the host nation of each World Cup since 1974 and has sponsored the FIFA World Cup™ since 1978. They have been the joint-presenting partner of the FIFA World Cup™ since 2002 and are also the original and long-standing partner of FIFA. As such, it’s only logical that Coca-Cola would also be interested in sponsoring the FIFA World Cup 2022. By partnering with the United Bid, Coca-Cola would be able to reach the Asian market, which accounts for almost half of the world’s population. Coca-Cola is also looking to expand its presence in the sport and currently has partnerships with the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), the International Tennis Federation (ITF), the International Federation of American Football (IFAF), the International Swimming Federation (FINA), the International Canoe Federation (ICF), and the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS). Coca-Cola is also the No. 1 National Sponsor of Major League Soccer (MLS), and the Official Sports Drink Sponsor of the National Basketball Association (NBA). It is also a partner of the National Hockey League (NHL), Major League Baseball (MLB), and Major League Soccer (MLS).
The Korean electronics giant is an official partner of the United Bid. Samsung will also be the official match ball sponsor for the FIFA World Cup 2022, as part of the Host Country Agreement. A successful 2022 World Cup would allow the Korean electronics giant to expand on its football offering significantly. Host countries often introduce new technologies to make the tournament more streamlined. Remote Stadium Operations, which enables the stadiums to be controlled remotely from a central command centre, is one such example. However, it’s likely that the stadiums will be retrofitted with current technology given the nature of the investment required. However, it’s likely that Samsung will be looking to introduce a new generation of tech that would allow the company to better compete with the likes of Huawei and Google. Samsung is also heavily invested in sports sponsorship. The company is the Official Technology Partner of the Olympics, the National Hockey League, National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, and Major League Soccer. Samsung is also the official sponsor of the FIFA Women’s World Cup and the FIFA eClub World Cup.
Visa has been a FIFA partner since 2002 and is a global partner of the United Bid. Visa is also the payment services partner of Major League Soccer and the Chinese Football Association. The growth of football in the United States is only expected to continue, as is the growth of Visa’s partnership with the sport. Many people will have heard of Visa’s partnership with football through the FIFA e-tournament, or the ad campaigns that encourage fans to “Show Your True Colors”. However, there is a lot more to Visa’s relationship with football, as highlighted by the company’s Vice President of Marketing Communications who believes “football has the power to inspire and connect people around the world.” Visa is a significant investment partner of Major League Soccer, having signed a 10-year, $700 million deal in 2017 to become the league’s official payment services partner. Additionally, Visa is a partnered sponsor of the National Women’s Soccer League, Major League Soccer’s Youth Soccer Club Partner, and the Chinese Football Association. Visa is also the official sponsor of the annual International Football Association Board (IFAB) meeting, the biennial meeting where rule changes to football are decided.
Windows is a potential FIFA World Cup 2022 sponsor that may come as a surprise to many. However, the tech giant has been making a significant effort to integrate itself into the football world. It is currently the Official Hyperbaric Chamber Supplier of FIFA and the Official Presenting Partner of the FIFA e-tournament. The company has also been investing in sports as part of its “Play What’s Next” campaign. Windows is partnering with the likes of The English Football League, Major League Soccer, and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). The company even sponsored the largest football stadium in the world and the most famous club in the Premier League. The potential sponsorship would also be beneficial to the sport, as it would help to attract a younger audience and showcase the technology behind the Windows platform.
The South Korean car manufacturer is the Presenting Partner of the United Bid and is also the Official Car Partner of FIFA. Hyundai’s football sponsorship portfolio includes the Asian Football Confederation, CONCACAF, CONMEBOL, the Confederation of African Football (CAF), and the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC). However, Hyundai is currently the Official Partner of the English Football League, which is the largest football league in the world. The company has also sponsored a number of individual clubs, including Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, and Liverpool. Hyundai is also the Official Car Partner of Major League Soccer.
The FIFA World Cup is the most watched sporting event on the planet. With 48 nations qualifying, it is the single most inclusive sporting event in the world. It has the power to unite even the most divided of nations; it has the power to inspire a generation. One that will be able to enjoy the competition in the stadiums and the entertainment on their handheld devices while on the move. That is why the three countries that have joined forces to host the event deserve to win the bid. They have the potential to showcase the very best of North America; they have the potential to inspire the world.