The 2023 Women’s World Cup will be the biggest tournament in the competition’s history. After all, FIFA expanded the upcoming tournament in Australia and New Zealand to 32 teams. This also means that the total matches will reach 64 for the first time. However, the growing event looks set to fall short of the governing body’s financial expectations.
FIFA has made attempts to broaden revenue in women’s soccer in recent years. This includes changing how they sell broadcasting rights packages and sponsorships for major women’s tournaments. While men’s and women’s World Cup media rights were previously packaged together, FIFA has opted to mostly sell them separately ahead of the 2023 tournament. This is, however, not the case in the United States. FOX and Telemundo has locked up broadcasting rights of the 2023 Women’s World Cup for nearly eight years now.
Nevertheless, the move hasn’t exactly panned out just yet. FIFA president Gianni Infantino has publicly ridiculed broadcasting bids for the 2023 Women’s World multiple times ever since last fall. In fact, he even recently labeled European network bids for the women’s tournament a “slap in the face.”
FIFA failing to attract brands to sponsor Women’s World Cup
Along with low broadcasting offers, sponsorships for the upcoming competition are also falling short. In a similar move to the aforementioned broadcasting rights, FIFA also previously separated corporate sponsorship opportunities as well. Before 2023, FIFA sold dual-marketing rights between the men’s and women’s tournaments.
Sports Business Journal is now reporting that only two brands are officially labeled on FIFA’s website as “FIFA Women’s Football Partners.” These two companies are currently American financial corporation Visa and New Zealand tech firm Xero.
The governing body of the sport also lists other business partners in a separate category as well. Adidas, Coca-Cola, Hyundai/Kia, and the Wanda Group currently have a partnership with FIFA for both men’s and women’s soccer.
USWNT corporate sponsors staying strong
Despite the underwhelming overall FIFA partnerships for the Women’s World Cup, U.S. Soccer seems to be doing just fine. The governing body for both the men’s and women’s U.S. sides currently shares corporate sponsorships between the two teams.
Coca-Cola just recently extended their partnership with the U.S. teams, which will coincide with the Women’s World Cup. Bud Light, Nike, GoGo Squeez, Volkswagen, and Visa all also transitioned marketing campaigns to the USWNT in recent days as well.
The USWNT will begin their World Cup run against Vietnam on Saturday, July 22nd. Along with the Southeast Asian team, the Americans will also face the Netherlands and Portugal in Group E of the tournament.
Photo credit: IMAGO & ULMER Pressebildagentur
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