Behind the World Cup: What the FIFA Sponsors Are Up To

A short, behind-the-scenes look at some of the companies affiliated with the football giant.
Monday 18 June 2018
FIFA headquarters in Switzerland. Photo: iStock

The road for FIFA hasn’t always been easy and the international football body has struggled to find sponsors in the last couple years. The 2015 corruption scandal that saw top FIFA officials arrested, coupled with the political controversies involving Russia, have been a bit of an own goal against FIFA. Here’s a round-up of some of FIFA’s current sponsors’ business updates.

qatar-airways - fifa
Photo: iStock

Qatar Airways
Qatar Airways wants to continue ‘going places together’. In a world first, the airline’s Group CEO Akbar al-Baker addressed the European Parliament and called for them to help end the blockade imposed on the State of Qatar by its neighbouring countries.

The ongoing blockage hasr educed the number of daily flights on the country’s national carrier from 600 to 440, with Al-Baker stressing that Qatar Airways has become a fundamental strategic pillar of food security for the country after about one year of siege. However, with no resolution in sight, it looks like Qatar Airways’ plans (and planes) may be delayed.

adidas - fifa
Adidas store in Zeil, Frankfurt. Photo: iStock

For Leicester City Football Club, panthers are out and stripes are in. The Foxes have swapped their old Puma kits for Adidas’ iconic three stripes by inking a multi-year partnership with the sports brand. The German company is also the kit provider for other Premier League teams such as last season’s Europa League winners Manchester United, Champions League finalist Real Madrid, and Germany’s most successful club Bayern Munich.

coke - fifa
Photo: iStock

For once the word ‘overweight’ and Coca-Cola go well together. Wall Street firm Barclays have recently upgraded the F&B giant’s stock to overweight, raising its price target from US$45 to US$48. Analyst Lauren Lieberman says that the product changes and portfolio diversification should drive better growth, which would in turn yield a higher valuation. She predicts the company will return to an annual sales growth of about 5% in the next two years after more than a 10% revenue decline this year. Things are definitely looking fizzy for Coke’s future!

hyundai - fifa
Photo: iStock

Hyundai Motor Group has slammed the brakes on its controversial US$8.8 billion restructuring plan which would have benefited the son of the conglomerate’s patriarch. The decision is a rare victory for shareholder-activist, billionaire Paul Singer of Elliott Management.Having previously battled South Korea’s largest chaebol, Samsung, three years ago, Elliott is leading the way in increasing pressure on corporations in the country to improve corporate governance in an increasingly globalised business world. Hopefully things are a smooth ride from now on.

qingdao - fifa
Qingdao, China. Photo: Pixabay

Wanda Group
Lights, camera, action! Dalian Wanda Group has unveiled its US $8billion movie metropolis in Qingdao – a sprawling 400-acre complex built on an artificial island. However, Dalian Wanda sold a major stake in the property to Sunac China Holdings alongside various other assets for US$6.9 billion, the largest real estate sale in the country’s corporate history. The Chinese conglomerate still retains branding and management rights to the Qingdao studios, whose facilities include a shopping mall, restaurants, an indoor theme park, a selection of four star resorts and hotels, a hospital, and even a school. Forget Hollywood, China’s Qingdao is the new La La Land.