FIFA’s plan to double the frequency of the World Cup drew a rebuke from one of the tournament’s most important sponsors.
Adidas CEO Kasper Rørsted told Swiss newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung that a biennial tournament would overcrowd the soccer and sports landscape.
“There’s a European Championship here, there’s a Copa América in Latin America. One should also leave space for other things,” he said, echoing concerns from UEFA, CONMEBOL, and the European Club Association.
He added that other sports such as biathlon, skiing, tennis, and handball should also get TV time.
“If you push just one product heavily, it is not good for any product,” said Rørsted.
His remarks carry weight, as Adidas has been the official supplier of soccer balls for the FIFA World Cup since 1970.
- Back in 2013, Adidas and FIFA extended their partnership to 2030.
- Adidas’ net income grew 150.6% year-over-year to $458 million in Q2 2018 in the middle of the last World Cup. It posted $756.9 million in net income the following quarter, up 25.1% year-over-year.
- The World Cup is coming to the U.S. in 2026 after Qatar hosts next year. Adidas’ sales in North America grew 87% year-over-year in the second quarter of this year to $1.44 billion.
Rørsted felt similarly about the attempted European Super League, saying it would have been good for the company’s sales but bad for the long-term health of soccer.