FIFA Corruption Case: How Will It Impact U.S. Networks, Marketers?

One of the world’s biggest sports marketing machines -- FIFA, the worldwide organizing body for global soccer sports play -- has been hit with a massive suit against its senior officials on 47 counts that include charges of bribery, fraud and money laundering.

The Department of Justice named 14 people in an indictment for allegedly handing out $150 million in bribes for media, marketing and sponsorship rights to the games, in arrangements that went on for at least two decades. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said indicted individuals decided "who would televise games,” among other rewards, reported the New York Times. FIFA officials who allegedly participated in the bribery laundered the money through U.S.-based banks, and a number were arrested in Switzerland. No names of any U.S. TV networks allegedly involved have been revealed.

Don’t expect any of this to bring U.S. viewership down.   But you have to wonder about the impact on marketing dollars for the sport -- sponsorship and TV advertising -- as well as where future license fees for U.S.-based TV networks will head. 

U.S. networks that run soccer coverage include Fox Sports, NBC Sports Channel, Univision, Telemundo, and beIN Sports. Fox has the U.S. English-language rights to the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups, paying a reported $425 million. 

Top FIFA officials who remain will no doubt talk about how corruption cannot be tolerated, as well as praising U.S. legal activity. They will say the ongoing business of soccer will remain strong. 

But you have to figure there will be more to come. Now we are all just waiting for another shoe to drop -- or foot, to kick someone in their marketing/media head. 



2 comments about "FIFA Corruption Case: How Will It Impact U.S. Networks, Marketers?".
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  1. Pamela Noga from WJMN-TV3, May 28, 2015 at 3:05 p.m.

    I don't think FIFA will comment that the ongoing business of soccer will remain strong. Americans just don't get it ... it's Football.  We decided to name our sport football which I will never understand and europeans think is a sign of our ignorance since we can't seem to be able to tell the difference between our feet and our hands.

  2. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, May 28, 2015 at 8:03 p.m.

    Whatever the amount they say, add another zero. Whatever they are charged with, it is ten times that. Everyone knew and rare few cared. If there is enough to file suits, we can't even begin to imagine how much work was done to get to this and how much evidence they have.

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