Over the last few days FIFA has been in crisis mode with senior leaders of the organization being indicted for fraud. While FIFA as a brand has taken a ‘hit’ it’s been interesting to watch the actions of FIFA’s sponsors – Nike, VISA, etc.

Many of these have taken a wait and see approach.  They have criticized the actions of those involved and said that they will continue to monitor the outcome of the case.  They are all also checking to ensure their sponsor dollars were not used as ‘bribe’ money.  Before deciding on their sponsorship going forward they wait for various investigations to wrap up.

I would argue that many sponsors have insulated their brands.  They are disassociating themselves from the actions — but remain sponsors of the ‘game’.  They equate their sponsorship to the joy it brings to millions of fans — which mirrors fan sentiment.  Most don’t want to see the game tarnished but understand what the FIFA executives did was wrong.  In fact, fans are appreciating that sponsors are still sticking with the sport.  One professor at the University of Ohio even called the actions of sponsors ‘text-book issues management’.

I say bravo to the sponsors for effectively insulating their brands, while this ‘crisis’ swirls around FIFA.

— Andrew C.

One thought on “FIFA

  1. Hi Andrew,

    Interesting article about other brands that are associated with FIFA and what their reactions were and subsequent increase in traffic. This is a pretty neat strategy of brand association especially around FIFA’s recent news:

    Budweiser’s Twitter Mentions Jumped 525% After FIFA’s Sepp Blatter Quit Call it the John Oliver effect By Christopher Heine

    Brand Intelligence today tracked four major brand sponsors of FIFA—world soccer’s embattled governing body—on Twitter during the hour before its president, Sepp Blatter, resigned in disgrace and the hour after he stepped down.

    A quick hit: Budweiser tweets spiked by 525 percent from 207 to 1,296. Call it “The John Oliver Effect,” after the HBO host last night promised to drink a Bud Light Lime if the brewer pulled its sponsorship.

    Blatter stepped down at 1 p.m. Tuesday in the wake of bribery and racketeering charges against a number of FIFA officials. Here’s what the Foster City, Calif.-based researcher discovered about Bud’s fellow FIFA advertisers—Coca-Cola, Visa and Adidas—for the hour before the announcement (Noon to 1 p.m.) compared with the hour after (1 p.m. to 2 p.m):

    Coca-Cola tweets increased 97 percent from 1,575 to 3,105.
    Tweets around Visa rose 71 percent from 3,402 to 5,832.
    Adidas tweets were up 53 percent from 5,832 to 8,946.

    All four brands have stayed with FIFA since word of the indictments came down nearly a week ago. Other brands—including Castrol, Sony, Johnson & Johnson and Continental—have taken their ad budgets elsewhere.

    Ammiel Kamon, svp of products for Amobee Brand Intelligence, suggested that the unusual amount of media attention brands received as a result of the scandal was at the heart of why names like Bud, Coke, Visa and Adidas were still such a big part of the conversation after Blatter resigned. Budweiser in particular harshly criticized FIFA late last week and demanded action.

    Though, Kamon added, “John Oliver’s megaphone moment and public plea caused the brand involvement and awareness to be amplified.”

    And give Oliver credit for this well-played response to this afternoon’s big development.

    -Yvonne Lae


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