FIFA World Cup sponsors Castrol, Continental Tire and Johnson & Johnson are dropping their sponsorship with FIFA, joining Partners Sony and Emirates, who announced they were leaving last year.
In a report from The Telegraph, all three were publicly vague in their reasons as to why they’re leaving FIFA. The timing of the departures would suggest that it is because of the numerous controversies FIFA has been a part of over the past year. While they were vague, The Telegraph was able to find out that Castrol was influenced to drop as a sponsor due to not responding to the group New FIFA Now, which puts pressure on FIFA sponsors to act and hope to influence reform within FIFA.
After these departures, this leaves Adidas, Coca-Cola, Hyundai/Kia and Visa as FIFA Partners and Budweiser and McDonalds as World Cup partners. Those would be the main sponsors who have a worldwide and American presence. Other World Cup partners, which are more localized in business, include Moy Park, a UK chicken and egg producing company, Brazilian telecommunication company Oi and Yingli Solar, a Chinese solar energy company.
Along with Russian government owned energy company Gazprom and Qatar government owned company Qatar Airways, FIFA is replacing departing sponsors with sponsors who are operating and/or owned by governments who have shady pasts and have virtually unlimited money. These Royal or dictatorship nations have the necessary funds to be able to funnel tons of money into FIFA from their companies whereas companies like Castrol, Continental Tire and Johnson & Johnson have shareholders, customers and competitors that they have to keep in mind when making business decisions like sponsoring a publicly toxic organization like FIFA. With this strategy, FIFA will have no problem making up for the losses they expect to receive and thus nothing will change.