FIFA is the organization responsible for expertly spreading World Cup fever around the world every four years, and they take their football very seriously. To the Fèdèration Internationale de Football Association football is much more than a game and FIFA has 208 member associations all striving for the constant improvement of the game. FIFA believes by bringing nations together to play the world game, and encouraging competition and integration, greater solidarity can be achieved.

FIFA’s Mission: For the Game. For the World.
In order to make such a difference in the world FIFA is run embodying the Swiss passions of order and efficiency. The association is based in Zürich and was founded in 1904. FIFA is governed by Swiss law, employs 310 people from over 35 different countries, which combine to administer the Association. FIFA’s supreme and legislative body is the Congress which is made up of the 208 member associations and each association gets one vote. Every member of a FIFA team, every member of an association and every partner business is dedicated to the goal of helping football to achieve equality, hope and integration for the world. FIFA works to protect standards, encourage commitment and promote solidarity in the world game in every corner of the world.

Financially FIFA is also very strong, having survived and excelled through the Global Financial Crisis, coming out unscathed and even stronger than before. Where many businesses and individuals around the world were facing financial crisis, in 2009 FIFA:

  • Showed a positive annual result of US$196 million.
  • Revenue in 2009 increased to US$1 billion thanks to the increased revenue from the sale of rights to newly concluded contracts for marketing and television. FIFA also consciously works to control their costs and was able to keep within their 2009 expense budget.
  • FIFA was further protected against losses thanks to its strategy of hedging foreign currencies.
  • FIFA’s equity increased to US$1,061 million as of 31 December 2009 which puts the association and a solid equity level. It is an important part of their business strategy to have sufficient equity and maintain financial independence as this allows the association to respond positively to unexpected events. However FIFA’s equity will be more accurately assessed after the 2010 World Cup.

FIFA’s Marketing
FIFA marketing is very carefully planned and targeted and as a result the association is able to offer its sponsors and partners promotional opportunities which extend beyond traditional media, and those offered by other sporting competitions. When businesses commence an official association with FIFA they are able to promote their brand both globally and locally. Partners are promoted by official World Cup broadcasters who present TV and radio coverage of the games, the sponsors and the licensees who are integral in supporting the staging and promotion of a FIFA event.

It is no surprise to see Adidas in the list of FIFA partners as the brand is synonymous with football and has been inspired by and catering to the need of players of the game since the 1920s. Adidas began its partnership with FIFA over 30 years ago, after having always been integral to the development of the game – it was Adidas who introduced the first screw in studs, worn by the players on the winning German team, at the 1954 World Cup.

Coca Cola
Coke began its formal association with FIFA in 1974, but has had stadium advertising at every FIFA World Cup since 1950. The Coca-Cola campaigns have included the first ever recognition of the best play a celebration during the tournament, a music anthem, worldwide TV commercials, online promotions and the 83 country World Cup trophy tour. Coke’s soundtrack to the World Cup is also an African inspired song called ‘Wavin Flag – Coca Cola Celebration Mix’ and will be played on all TV commercials and on the trophy to events.

Emirates Airline
Emirates was an official partner of the 2006 World Cup in Germany, becoming the first airline sponsor of the tournament. Emirates Airline believes such sponsorship is integral to integrating with its passengers, showing support for their interests and sharing those interests with them. Emirates customers and passengers are a discerning crowd who expect only the best and a partnership between the world’s premier sporting event and the airline is sure to deliver.

The attention to detail which Emirates brings to all of their business operations can be seen in the level of luxury and indulgence awarded to its Citibank Emirates credit card customers. Simply for being a cardholder emirates customers receive chauffeur driven rides to and from the airport when they fly, lounge passes for any Emirates lounge and exclusive access to their Marhaba Airport Lounge in Dubai. Cardholders are also offered a low 2.9% balance transfer offer for an extended 12 months, as well as travel insurance, purchase insurance and platinum concierge service.

Hyundai Kia Motors
Ground transport is integral to the success of an international event of the magnitude of the World Cup. Hyundai Kia Motors began an alliance with FIFA in 1999 to provide a fleet of modern, reliable, comfortable and safe vehicles to transport officials, teams, members of the organizing committee, referees and the media. Official vehicles are also used as city shuttle services, and when transporting the teams the vehicles were decorated with the national team colors, flags and slogans.

Visa shares the FIFA ideals of excellence, acceptance and public awareness and as a result creates a rewarding and beneficial partnership for the company and for supporters of the world’s favorite sport who need convenience and reliability when they are away from home. Visa have also created the Go Football Experience to provide the millions of football fans who are Visa cardholders the opportunity to join a pre-stadium tour, a pre-match warm-up and other unique behind-the-scenes experiences.

Official World Cup Song and Mascot
An official mascot is designed for every World Cup, since Willy the lion was invented for the 1966 tournament in England. The 2010 World Cup mascot is Zakumi the leopard and his name comes from ZA which stands for South Africa and kumi which means 10 in the various languages used across Africa. Zakumi was born in 1994 in the same year as the country’s democracy so he’s young, energetic, smart and ambitious, inspiring football fans of every age and nationality.

FIFA and Sony have chosen a song written by Shakira called ‘Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)’ and she will perform it with the South African band Freshlyground. The song is filled with traditional African rhythms and represents the life and passion of the country. All proceeds from the sale of the single will be donated to the 20 Centers are 2010 campaign which aims to achieve positive social change through football by building centers across Africa to offer education, health care services and football training.

This article was written by Timothy Ng who is a regular personal finance writer and part of the team at Credit Card Finder, a 100% free Australian credit card comparison and application service. Visit the Credit Card Finder website for more information, or subscribe to their RSS feed for more practical articles.

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categories: business, economics