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Fifa unbundles women’s sponsorship rights in new commercial partnership structure

Global soccer body to make a range of packages available across three key verticals.

13 December 2021 Sam Carp

Getty Images

  • Brands offered dedicated deals around Fifa’s women’s soccer and esports properties for first time
  • Sponsorships of men’s and women’s World Cups previously sold collectively
  • Global governing body last introduced new commercial partnership structure in 2013

Fifa has unveiled a new commercial partnership structure that will allow brands to strike sponsorship deals exclusively focused on the world soccer body’s women’s and esports properties.

It is the first time since 2013 that Fifa has introduced a new commercial partnership structure and will see a range of packages made available across three verticals, which are women’s soccer, men’s soccer, and esports and gaming.

Up until this stage, those sponsorship rights have been sold collectively, potentially limiting the opportunity for brands interested in aligning only with Fifa’s women’s soccer competitions.

Now, however, Fifa is introducing a model which it believes will provide ‘more options and flexibility’ for brands to reach their target audiences by allowing them to take up dedicated partnerships around women’s soccer or esports for the first time.

Fifa’s global partners will continue to have rights to properties and initiatives across the men’s, women’s and FIFAe verticals. In the tier below that, brands will have the option to secure extensive commercial rights across all national team tournaments within their respective vertical, or a premium position across all esports competitions.

Meanwhile, sponsors will benefit from global activation rights for either the Women’s World Cup, men’s World Cup or FIFAe competitions, with tournament supporters gaining territorial activation rights for the same properties.

The strategy will be implemented for the 2023 Women’s World Cup and the men’s 2026 World Cup, and will also cover Fifa’s other competitions during the next commercial cycle.

Kay Madati, who was appointed as the global governing body’s chief commercial officer in July, said the new structure will allow “brands big and small, global and local” to connect with the sport.

He added: “The new model will allow our partners to create more tailored programming and marketing activations that align directly with their strategic business goals, and connect them to the world’s most passionate fans, in the world’s most engaging sport.”

Fifa’s decision to unbundle the sponsorship rights to its women’s properties from its men’s competitions sees it follow a similar route already taken by other sports organisations, such as Uefa. The European soccer body now has seven dedicated women’s soccer partners, including the likes of Visa, Hublot, Grifols and Euronics.

Sarai Bareman, Fifa’s chief women’s football officer, said: “This marks a ground-breaking moment to maximise the growth of the women’s game and its marketing appeal, as we create equal commercial models across women’s and men’s football for the first time.

“We’re excited about the opportunities for brands who want to support women’s sport, help accelerate women’s equality, and wish to align themselves with the unparalleled momentum around women’s football.”

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