Economic crisis dampens sponsor interest for Confeds Cup

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Johannesburg - The global economic meltdown has dampened the interest of potential sponsors for the upcoming FIFA Confederations Cup.

However, the world football governing body FIFA, has expressed confidence that more sponsors will come on board as the tournament draws closer.

"We have a product which is amazing, and the fact that the world cup itself is in Africa has created some excitement," FIFA Marketing Director Thierry Welo said on Wednesday.

He was briefing the media on FIFA's marketing programme ahead of both the 2009 Confederations Cup in June and the 2010 World Cup.

Both tournaments have three-tier sponsorship structures which are FIFA partners, FIFA World Cup sponsors and national partners.

Mr Welo said MTN SA was the only South African company among the sponsors, while FNB and Telkom were the only two who have signed up as national partners.

FIFA requires at least six national partners to ensure that the tournaments are well marketed locally, explained Mr Welo.

"We are speaking to a number of South African companies and we are hoping we will get at least four national sponsors on board," he said, adding that local companies play a crucial role in the marketing of both events.

He commended FNB for the "stunning" ticket campaign currently run by the bank. "It will be good for South Africa to see more local brands joining FNB and Telkom to promote the event."

FIFA will be meeting with the Organising Committee in the coming week to discuss more marketing strategies ahead of the June tournament.