January 25 – FIFA has renewed payments technology firm Visa’s global sponsorship for a new rights cycle taking them to the 2026.
Designated as FIFA’s Worldwide Partner & Official Payment Technology Partner, the new agreement will include all FIFA’s competitions, culminating with the expanded 2026 World Cup to be hosted in the US, Canada and Mexico.
Visa first began its sponsorship of FIFA in 2007 in a partnership that has covered more than 40 FIFA events. Visa replaced MasterCard.
No value has been put on the renewal but estimates put it at about $35 million a year.
The sponsorship does not cover the 2027 Women’s World Cup which FIFA sees as a major opportunity to increase its revenues with bidders expected to generate in the region of $3 billion for that event which looks most likely to be in the US or hosted by the joint bid from Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands.
FIFA President, Gianni Infantino, said: “FIFA is thrilled to partner with Visa and to focus our strong partnership on what will be a very bright future. Visa’s unwavering commitment to enhancing the fan experience, coupled with their innovative approach to payment technology, aligns with FIFA’s vision to make football truly global and accessible to all.”
FIFA doesn’t mandate all payments for all its events (tickets and merchandise) to be paid via Visa, but it comes as close as it possibly can to doing so, especially at venues.
There is an advantage for fans to pay by Visa as cardholder benefits aimed at getting fans closer to the event include behind the scenes access at tournaments, Visa-cardholder pre-sale events, and other promotions, including at FIFA stores and online.
Visa’s FIFA proposition is about creating a seamless experience for fans but also providing a digital gateway to get fans more involved.
Frank Cooper, Chief Marketing Officer, Visa, said: “One of Visa’s primary goals in partnering with FIFA is to enrich the experience of both fans and athletes. The FIFA World Cup 26 presents a unique opportunity for Visa to achieve that goal. Although competitive sports is considered entertainment, it is also a thriving business. This allows Visa to operate at the intersection of culture and commerce, fulfilling the high expectations of our cardholders on match day, whether they are watching the excitement unfold in their living rooms or sitting at the heart of the action at midfield.”
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