Good news everybody! Three of FIFA's biggest sponsors—Johnson & Johnson, Castrol, and Continental Tires—confirmed to The Telegraph that they have cut their ties with FIFA, joining Sony and Emirates in declining to continue supporting slavery. As second-tier World Cup sponsors in 2014, the three companies paid FIFA between $10 million and $25 million a year, according to The Guardian, part of the "at least $1.5bn in revenue over each four-year cycle" sponsors bring FIFA.
Sponsors are the lifeblood of FIFA, and deciding that they don't want to associate themselves and their money with an organization that, among other failings, covers up its own corruption investigation, is dangerous to gays, and reportedly paid $31 million to fund a terrible propaganda movie, seems like the only way to compel meaningful change within the organization that controls world soccer.
But as some sponsors sever ties with FIFA, others are strengthening theirs. Four of the six top-tier FIFA sponsors—Adidas, Coca-Cola, Visa, Hyundai—remain committed long-term, and Qatar Air and Samsung are in talks to replace the departed Sony and Emirates. Other second-tier sponsors—McDonald's, Budweiser, MTN, Moy Park, Oi, Oi and Yingli Solar—are sticking with FIFA too, and Gazprom signed a deal to join them. FIFA has also rolled out new regional sponsorship opportunities, so all in all, the upcoming World Cup cycle will probably still be FIFA's most profitable yet!
Photo via Steve Bardens/Getty