SBD/October 27, 2010/Marketing and Sponsorship

Sony Considers Future As World Cup Sponsor Amid FIFA Allegations

Sony Has Not Decided Whether To Continue As World Cup Sponsor Beyond '14 Tourney

Sony Europe Head of Sponsorship Toby Shaw said that the company “is still looking at its backing of the World Cup” as FIFA “probes allegations of corruption in its executive committee,” according to Tariq Panja of BLOOMBERG NEWS. Shaw said that the “investigation into the bidding for the 2018 and 2022 events ‘isn’t great’ for companies in discussions about supporting the tournament.” He also indicated that FIFA sponsors “would prefer to associate themselves with the World Cup rather than the organization itself.” Shaw: “We don’t say we’re a partner of FIFA. We say we’re a partner of the World Cup.” Sony is one of “only six official FIFA partners” and will “keep that status” for the ’14 World Cup in Brazil. But Shaw said that it “hasn’t been decided whether to continue beyond then.” Shaw: “We concentrate on whether it’s right for our business going forward. We are still evaluating the last World Cup.” Panja noted FIFA’s marketing team is “pitching this week for the 2018 and 2022 events” (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 10/26).

SOCCER, EH? In Toronto, Rita Trichur reports the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce announced yesterday that it has “signed a new sponsorship with Visa” for the ’14 World Cup. The new deal in the retail banking category “comes on the heels of its FIFA World Cup broadcast sponsorship earlier this year.” Meanwhile, sources said that Bank of Montreal is “gearing up to make a significant soccer-related announcement” tomorrow. Sources “expect that BMO will extend its sponsorship of soccer” to the Vancouver Whitecaps, which will join MLS next season. Trichur writes CIBC “used to be known as Canada’s pre-eminent soccer bank, a designation that BMO has taken great pains to claim in recent years” (TORONTO STAR, 10/27).

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