BrandDunk

Branding the World of Sports

FIFA sponsors express concern over troubles within organization

Posted by ZA on May 31, 2011

You can add sponsors to the growing list of people who have expressed concerned over the goings on at FIFA, soccer’s world governing body.  SportBusiness reports that Adidas and Coca-Cola have both publicly responded to questions about corruption allegations within FIFA.  The sponsors say the reports are “distressing” and “neither good for football nor for FIFA and its partners”.  What does this mean for FIFA?  Nothing yet, but it’s never a good sign when the people helping fund your organization are starting to lob concern grenades through the press.  I doubt that Adidas or Coca-Cola cancels their association with FIFA over these allegations, but I’m sure I would have said similar about Gatorade and Tiger Woods a couple of years ago.  Sponsors are not going pay to have their brands dragged through the mud, so FIFA needs to get a handle on this situation before they start losing money.

What is the solution for FIFA?  They clearly need to offer more transparency into their process.  They need to engage an outside organization to help them root out corruption within their ranks, as many that bribery and pay for votes is common place even at their highest organization levels.  FIFA probably needs to start over with new leadership because I’m not sure the current administration can be seen as credible in cleaning up FIFA.  Sepp Blatter is about to get re-elected to a final four year term.  He’s had some success in leading the organization, but he’s not been able to put to rest the corruption allegations.  Some of which are coming from the British Parliament.  I think major changes within FIFA are the only way to truly start to put these allegations in the past.  Will Mr. Blatter step down?  Not likely.  Will FIFA become more transparent?  I’m not expecting changes.  Will FIFA continue to be mired in controversy?  Most likely.  Will sponsors pull out?  That remains to be seen, but the first cracks in the foundation have clearly appeared with those statements by Adidas and Coca-Cola.

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