Monday, December 31, 2012

Why Sponsors Will Not Lead FIFA Reform

Back in November I discussed the promising news that one big FIFA sponsor, Emirates Airlines, was raising questions about FIFA's reform efforts. Emirates has done its due diligence and now, courtesy of Andrew Warshaw, senior vice president Boutro Boutros explains what was found:
"What I said before about renewal is that we needed to wait until we had studied whether our brand was damaged because it's a big investment. You cannot invest unless you do a proper evaluation. We have now done a market research test and so far it would seem there is no negative effect on our brand or people's perception of it, whatever FIFA has gone through."
In other words, according to Emirates, whatever FIFA is doing it is not adversely affecting the Emirates brand, so the company has no need to look into the reform effort any further.

The brand-first approach taken by Emirates is of course not unique and provides a fine illustration why corporate sponsors will not be the ones to lead reform of sports governance, in FIFA or anywhere else. 


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