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FIFA ‘struggles for sponsors’ at Russia World Cup – Report

FIFA is reportedly struggling to secure sponsorship at next year’s World Cup in Russia, with two thirds of the available slots remaining unsold.

World football’s governing body has been rocked with corruption and scandal in recent years and is still trying to recover, with brands such as Coca-Cola, Adidas and Nike suffering negative brand sentiment as a result of their connection with the organisation, and many other brands opting not to get involved in 2018 for fear of similar repercussions.

The cost of partnerships has also been heavily criticised by international and local businesses.

As things stand, FIFA has sold 10 out of the total 34 sponsorship slots available. At this stage during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, nearly all of the sponsorship positions had been filled.

In an interview with The National, Adrian Pettett, chief operating officer at Havas Sports & Entertainment Cake, describes the current commercial situation as “damaging but by no means fatal”.

“Doubtless some existing FIFA sponsors will have used the bad publicity as a reason to exit their deals or not renew,” he said. “Others will have looked at the venues for 2018 and 2022 – Russia and Qatar – and pondered their ability to activate effectively in those markets and gain a return on the considerable investment. This has left space for new entrants, of which there will be plenty.”

FIFA lost several major sponsors after the tournament ended in Rio in 2014, including Sony and Emirates. Since Gazprom agreed to be a Fifa partner for the 2014 and 2018 World Cups, only three other companies have agreed major sponsorship deals for the Russian tournament.


Rory McIlroy agrees 10 year Nike partnership

Northern Irish golf supremo Rory McIlroy has agreed a new ’10 year plus’ apparel partnership with Nike valued at around $100 million.

McIlroy moved across to the sportswear giant in 2013, in a partnership which included golf equipment and apparel, worth $200 million over 10 years.

However, the company announced last August that it would no longer produce golfing equipment, such as clubs, bags and balls, but would focus instead on golf footwear and clothing. Nike’s golf division fell by 8% in 2016 to an estimated £706 million, a third year of declining sales.

Part of the new Nike agreement will have exclusivity over McIlroy’s apparel, prohibiting the world number two from having any additional sponsors on his cap or clothing.

“I’m really happy to continue this journey with Nike,” said McIlroy, 27. “I’ve loved this company since I was a kid.”

McIlroy joins three former world number ones in the Swoosh clothing stable, along with veteran Nike endorsee of 20 years, Tiger Woods, and new signing Jason Day, joining the brand in January of this year.

Competition between manufactures is intense with each paying huge sums of money to ensure the top stars endorse their equipment, along with stringent contracts.

The announcement by Nike comes as McIlroy prepares to for the US Masters title at the world famous Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia this week.

Red Bull named 2016’s most sharable brand

Energy drink giant Red Bull has been declared last year’s most sharable brand, according to new figures by Unruly.

As part of Unruly’s annual round-up, the video ad tech company has compiled a list of the top ten video campaigns to be shared on social media throughout the year.

Red Bull failed to even reach the top ten most shared single ads of 2016, with that accolade being awarded to John Lewis’ Buster The Boxer Christmas Campaign.

Instead, the global drinks manufacturer was able to secure first place through a constant stream of released content as the company reportedly uploaded hundreds of videos over the course of the year.

The top three brands shared also included Samsung, followed by McDonald’s. From last year’s second place, Red Bull soared into first this year, beating Samsung’s shares by around 15 million.

“The winners hit the mark by creating highly emotional ads that resonated with viewers,” according to Unruly’s SVP Insights and Marketing, US, Devra Prywes, “we have a truly global list of top brands, many of which created videos specifically for and released in individual territories topping the list.”

Unruly held a ‘virtual award’ ceremony live on Twitter, announcing the winners for a number of categories, including Emotional Ad and Most Inspiring Video, all of which can be viewed here