Football brings people together from all backgrounds, breaking down cultural barriers and reducing social inequality. It also generates substantial economic activity for host countries through a boost in tourism and construction activity. However, FIFA has been dogged by corruption claims in recent years. The kerfuffle over European teams’ attempts to promote LGBT+ equality, and human rights concerns in Qatar, underscore this.
The World Cup
Taking place quadrennially, the World Cup pits national teams from all over the globe against one another. The tournament itself lasts for weeks, but qualifying to compete as a team takes years of grueling competition by region. Hosting a World Cup can have massive economic impacts for the country that hosts it. It can bring in billions in revenue and create thousands of jobs. It can also boost tourism and help a nation grow economically.
FIFA also has a significant social fifa impact, investing vast sums into developing the game of football (or soccer) around the globe. Despite some controversy, the organization has done a lot of good work, including donating money to rebuild after disasters and partnering with social change movements such as LGBT rights and women’s rights.
The Champions League
The Champions League is, for most people, the very pinnacle of European club soccer. It is the most prestigious tournament in world football, attracting the biggest names in the game and generating huge sums of money through sponsorship, ticket sales, broadcasting revenues and more. The competition is watched by millions of fans across Europe and beyond, with the final being a truly iconic sporting event.
This year, UEFA announced that the Champions League will change from next season in order to increase the number of games and to try and add more excitement to the tournament. This will include a new Swiss-style format, where the pairings for the knockout stages are partially decided by a draw based on a team’s league phase rankings. This will be a big change for teams who regularly play in the Champions League, but the Premier League and La Liga will be pleased to see that two of the extra four slots will go to their nations, rather than being assigned by a five-year historical coefficient ranking.
The Confederations Cup
In the year leading up to a FIFA World Cup, the world governing body runs the Confederations Cup. It involves the winners of each of the six FIFA confederation championships (AFC, CAF, CONCACAF, CONMEBOL, OFC and UEFA), along with the current World Cup holder and host nation (eight teams in total).
Backed by a slew of superstars including Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Romario and Adriano Brazil dominated the competition, winning it in 2003 and 2005. However, Germany’s reluctance to compete in the summer tournament partly mirrored their drab showing at Euro 1996 and was a precursor to their underwhelming performance at Euro 2000. Previously the tournament was held every two years, but in 2005 it was placed on a four-year cycle with the event being staged in the country hosting the next World Cup finals. This helped to give the event a sturdier platform and a higher profile. This has also made it a more attractive proposition for broadcasters.
The Women’s World Cup
The Women’s World Cup showcases exceptional female footballers, transforming them into role models for the sport and beyond. Aspiring young athletes see these players shatter glass ceilings and break gender stereotypes, empowering them to believe in themselves and pursue their goals. Global online buzz surrounding the tournament creates a sense of camaraderie and unity among football enthusiasts, fostering a global community that is passionate about women’s soccer. Search trends show that fans are curious about a variety of topics, including ticket sales, team rosters, player statistics, and match results.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino has taken a progressive approach to women’s football during his tenure, raising prize money and supporting the growth of the game. But it’s clear that more needs to be done to ensure equal pay for the women who deliver these World Cup extravaganzas. Amid this, it’s important that brands align with the values of the tournament to show their commitment to women’s empowerment and equality.
Every four years, the world turns its attention to a football tournament. It creates a number of economic impacts in the host country. As the barriers between fans and players are increasingly being broken down, brands can reach these highly engaged audiences. This opens up new marketing opportunities.