- FIFA sponsors -- who spent an estimated $190 million in 2014, according to the Wall Street Journal -- are exercising caution with regard to the latest scandal to hit the soccer organization before deciding to pull their partnerships.
- Brands are cooperating with officials in the probe. Anheuser-Busch InBev-owned Budweiser's statement echoes other sponsors, "We continue to closely monitor the situation through our ongoing communications with FIFA."
- The U.S.. Department of Justice filed charges against nine current and former FIFA officials on Wednesday for alleged bribery and corruption over the course of 24 years.
From Adidas, Nike and Coca-Cola, to Emirates, McDonald's and Visa, the myriad of brands attached to FIFA have been quick to distance themselves from the newest allegations, and saying they are cooperating with officials, but fielding questions about whether or not they will pull their sponsorships.
According to the Wall Street Journal, a second tier of World Cup-specific sponsors spent $171 million on the summer 2014 tournament in Brazil, not including the millions of dollars marketers spent on TV ads. In the four years leading up to last year's World Cup, FIFA brought in $5.72 billion. The same Wall Street Journal report argues the World Cup is more attractive to marketers than the Olympics as it allows for more branding at the events.
Despite the costly buy-in, the World Cup is one of the few global events, besides the Olympics, that gives marketers the chance to reach such an expansive audience. The likelihood of brands pulling out of their FIFA deals is slim, still, not unthinkable.