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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 November, 2004, 20:47 GMT
Fifa to revamp sponsor and TV deals
By Bill Wilson
BBC News business reporter in Dubai

World football governing body Fifa has revealed that it will sell regional sponsorship and television packages from 2007 up to the 2010 World Cup and beyond in an effort to bounce back from recent fiascos.

Brazil's victorious captain Cafu holds the World Cup trophy in 2002
Broadcast rights for future World Cups are up for grabs

"We are moving from a global (World Cup) TV offer to a continental offer," said Jerome Valcke, director of TV and marketing at Fifa, at the Soccerex football business event in Dubai.

The Swiss-based organisation was embarrassed after its marketing firm ISL went bust in 2001, followed a year later by its television partner for the 2002 World Cup, German giant Kirch.

It has since brought its marketing and television operations in-house.

"Free-to-air viewing will be the corner stone, but we will also be selling packages combining free with pay-TV," said Mr Valcke.

"In sponsorship we are seeing big changes and moving away from our current set-up," he added.

Clean slate

The global sales of all broadcast rights for the 2006 Fifa World Cup worldwide are handled by Infront.

We are looking for the organisations best suited to exploit the 2010 World Cup broadcast rights
Niclas Ericson, Fifa head of broadcast and media rights
After the 2006 World Cup in Germany, all Fifa World Cup television, commercial, licensing and marketing rights will revert to the organisation.

"This gives us the pretty unique chance to have a clean slate... to create clear cut, distinctive and sustainable categories," said Stefan Schuster, head of Fifa sales.

Free in the UK

For the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, television rights will be split into three packages for each continent.

Fifa Women's U-19 World Cup trophy
Sponsors will have a presence at all Fifa events

One will consist solely of free-to-air TV rights, and will contain a minimum of 22 free games from the 64-match tournament programme and a highlights programme package.

There will be another two TV packages available to either free-to-TV or pay-TV organisations.

However, Niclas Ericson, Fifa head of broadcast and media rights, said that, whoever won the European rights, in the UK the World Cup was a "listed" event, which meant it had to be shown on free-to-air TV.


There will be a separate package for radio broadcast rights.

We are now re-organising things to reduce clutter and to optimise the value for our sponsors
Stefan Schuster, head of sales at Fifa
"We are looking for the organisations best suited to exploit the 2010 World Cup broadcast rights," said Mr Ericson.

"The tender offer will be addressed to broadcasters, agencies and broadcast unions."

Fifa is to publish its European TV rights tender document on 20 December and the closing date for interested parties to put forward bids will be 11 February 2005.

Broadband internet rights will also be up for grabs, although it is not yet clear what form they will be in.

Rights which will be submitted to a separate process at a later date, include mobile phone rights and public viewing rights, such as on big screens.

Once the European packages have been decided, Fifa will look to publish tender documents for other parts of the world such as Asia and Oceania.

Corporate involvement

As for sponsorship, for the 2006 World Cup in Germany, Fifa has 15 official partners and six national suppliers.

The current partners include Coca-Cola, Mastercard, Hyundai, Toshiba, Yahoo, and Budweiser.

"We are now re-organising things to reduce clutter and to optimise the value for our sponsors," said Mr Schuster.

England fans at 2002 World Cup
Fifa is creating new sponsorship categories
From 2007 onwards there will be six Fifa partners - global corporations which will get rights across all Fifa events for eight years.

It will also have eight Fifa World Cup sponsors, which it envisages will be "local or regional players".

It will also have four to six national partners, which will be able to get involved in Fifa's 45 events around the World between now and 2014, including the World Cups.

Those 45 events include the U-17 and U-20 events, women's World Cup and others.

However, only the six official partners will have a sponsorship presence across all the events.

There will be six new sponsorship categories created - apparel and sports equipment, digital life, financial services, automotive, soft drinks and alcoholic drinks.

"We have met 25 companies so far and half of them are already partners, with the other half potential partners," said Mr Valcke.

He also said that at future World Cups Fifa would be using rotating advertising boards at games, as opposed to the previous static arrangements, as research showed that they attracted the eye better.

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