FIFA Targets More Partners for Esports, Women's Soccer

    • FIFA is restructuring its commercial partnership format.
    • It will be in the first time since 2013 soccer’s governing body has done so.

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FIFA is restructuring its commercial partnership format for the first time in eight years.

Soccer’s governing body will now include verticals across men’s soccer, women’s soccer, and esports/gaming — the first time brands can dedicate partnerships to the latter two.

The focus on women’s soccer and esports follows an uptick in interest for both categories.

  • The value of the global esports market grew nearly 50% from 2020 to 2021. By 2024, it’s estimated to be worth $1.62 billion.
  • As of 2020, the highest-value esports team brought in an estimated $45 million in annual revenue.
  • A Wasserman survey of people across the U.K., Germany, France, Italy, Poland, Switzerland, and Russia found that 88% of people would watch women’s soccer if given more opportunities.
  • The National Women’s Soccer League shattered league ratings records by almost 300% in 2020.

Regarding women’s soccer, Anna Afolabi, integrated strategist at Wasserman, says that “it is important that brands, sponsors, and partners don’t just sit and wait for this interest to increase further.”

Commercial Packages

FIFA will provide more tailored packages for companies via four categories: World Cup/women’s football/FIFAe partners, sponsors, tournament supporters, and FIFA partners.

FIFA partners receive global partner status and the “highest level of association.” Right now, Adidas, Coca-Cola, Visa, Hyundai, Qatar Airways, and Wanda Group are the six companies that hold the status.