Sony’s FIFA Sponsorship Sputters Out
For the past nine years, Sony has had a sponsorship contract with FIFA, but now that the contract is up, it's reconsidering whether it wants a new one.
Games Industry reports that although Sony has had an eight-year contract with FIFA worth ¥33 billion (around $278M USD currently), it has now come to an end and it is reconsidering whether it wants to re-up. Being one of FIFA's six official partners meant that Sony's brands were featured in sales and marketing for over 40 football tournaments, which included the 2010 and 2014 World Cups. "[It] allows all of our businesses-electronics, games, movies and music-to globally associate with the emotion and excitement of football and FIFA events and show billions of people around the world how Sony enhances the way they live, work and play," Sony explains on its website regarding the partnership.
Since then, Sony has come forth through The Daily Mail and expressed concerns it has with FIFA, specifically about "integrity, ethics and fair play." Emirates was the first to back away from the partnership and Sony will purportedly be close behind it. While Sony's concerns are relatively vague, there have been reports specifically about the 2022 World Cup--specifically human rights abuses in Qatar--that are concerning around the world. It has been under review for corruption having to deal with, "voting on elections for posts within the organization, and the process by which host nations for the World Cup are decided."
While the governing body of FIFA has had these kinds of corruption concerns levied against it in the past, this is the first time two major sponsors have actually done anything about it. It will be interesting to see how FIFA responds, and whether or not the sponsorships will return should the organization take action.