Talk of sponsorship extension premature – Visa and FIFA

Visa and FIFA have confirmed talks have been held over extending the company’s top-tier sponsorship of world football’s governing body, but have denied reports a new deal has been agreed through to the 2022 World Cup.

The financial services company currently serves as one of six FIFA Partners, alongside Adidas, Coca-Cola, Hyundai/Kia, Emirates and Sony. Visa signed its current deal with world football’s governing body in June 2007 and it is due to run through 2014, taking in the World Cup in Brazil. Media reports last week stated that the company had reached an eight-year extension to the partnership valued at more than US$170 million. However, Visa and FIFA told Soccerex Business Daily that these reports are premature.

In a joint statement the two organisations said:“The partnership between FIFA and Visa has been an effective component of the global marketing activities for both organisations since 2007. While both FIFA and Visa greatly value this relationship and have been in discussions regarding the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups, we have no official news to share at this point in time.”

Visa’s original deal hit the headlines after rival MasterCard took legal action in a bid to prevent the signing of the contract. MasterCard, the credit card issuer which had sponsored the World Cup for 16 years, eventually reached a $90 million settlement with FIFA paving the way for Visa to conclude its deal.