The sponsors are revolting

Media Message Blog FIFA The Sponsors Are Revolting

When one-third of your income (around £1BN) is from sponsorship it stands to reason that your sponsors carry some weight. If they signed up and paid a lot of money to have their brand associated with a world-class organisation, surely they shouldn’t expect it to be run like the mafia. The allegations of bribes, bungs and criminal activity, if proven, send out all the wrong messages. As the current fraud scandal rips through FIFA its president smiles as he wades through the media scrum at every turn.

Main sponsor, Visa has said that if FIFA fail to make changes now it will reassess its sponsorship. You can read their full statement here.

Meanwhile other major sponsors Coca-Cola, Adidas, Budweiser, Hyundai and McDonalds have all voiced their concerns. Sky News sums it up here.

FA boss Greg Dyke has called for Sepp Blatter to resign and so has UEFA’s head Michel Platini – even David Cameron joined the chorus. Not surprisingly, Blatter refuses to go.

In The Mirror, Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker said, “If any other organisation on the planet was found to be as corrupt as FIFA, then the man at the top top would go. But Blatter has his own fiefdom and he seems immune to it.”

Here’s the BBC’s summary of FIFA’s crisis.

Whilst Sepp Blatter isn’t likely to give a second thought to what any of FIFA’s sponsors think, the whole episode does raise the question of what influence any sponsor of anything should reasonably expect to have. If you spend money to be associated with an organisation that later turns out to be corrupt then you’re probably entitled to demand your money back plus costs for damage to your reputation.

When Lance Armstrong confessed to wide scale cheating his sponsors wanted their money back plus compensation for having their brands dragged down with him. Same applies here but in FIFA’s case it’s going to be a very big number.

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