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Fifa banks Russian firm as first World Cup regional supporter

Fifa, football’s global governing body, has named Russia’s Alfa-Bank as the first-ever regional supporter of its World Cup national team tournament.

Under the agreement, Alfa-Bank will launch sponsorship campaigns in Russia and across Europe which focus on the 2018 World Cup and the 2017 Confederations Cup, which will both be staged in its home country.

Alfa-Bank’s services will also be used to enhance Fifa’s fan offerings through ticket-related projects. As a regional supporter, Alfa-Bank will benefit from LED advertising exposure during games, ticket deals and brand association rights across Europe.

“The main focus of our partnership with Fifa is to contribute to delivering a successful Fifa World Cup in Russia and providing the highest levels of banking services to football fans,” Petr Aven, a member of Alfa-Bank’s board of directors and chairman of the board of directors at ABH Holdings S.A, which is part of Alfa Group, said. “Alfa-Bank is certain that our new partnership with Fifa is a winning formula for our existing clients, many of whom are football fans, who use our services.

“Being a regional supporter offers Alfa-Bank the opportunity to acquire new customers via the extension of our current outstanding services to the many football fans attending the tournament.”

Fifa’s revamped sponsorship strategy for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups caters for as many as four regional supporter partnerships in each of its five regions: Europe, North America, South America, the Middle East and Asia.

The body’s previous model, which covered the 2010 and 2014 World Cups, comprised three tiers of commercial affiliates – Fifa Partners, Fifa World Cup Sponsors and National Supporters.

The top two categories have mostly remained the same, with the third-tier regional supporter branch having been added to cover the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

Fifa said it is currently in discussions with various prospective partners across its five regions, with further announcements expected in due course.