Le Floc’h considers change in Women’s World Cup sponsorship strategy

Fifa’s chief commercial officer Philippe Le Floc’h has told SportBusiness Sponsorship he is open to change in the sponsorship structure of Fifa’s women’s football properties after 2022.

Speaking to SportBusiness Sponsorship from Beijing at the launch of Fifa Partner Wanda Group’s campaign for the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France, Le Floc’h said he was “not excluding anything” in his search for the right model.

Currently, the Women’s World Cup has a two-tier system of six Fifa Partners and six National Supporters.

“The current commercial programme is carved in stone until 2022,” he said. “The Fifa partners have access to women’s football, and what is interesting is that they now have much more interest in doing dedicated programmes.

“Visa is very interested in doing things for women’s football, so is Coca-Cola and Wanda is doing a lot here in China so these are all positives.

“For the future, we’ll have to see whether it makes sense, or not, to have dedicated activities for women’s football, and to design a new commercial strategy after 2022.”

Le Floc’h said he would not rule out regional partnerships or a second-tier of dedicated Women’s World Cup sponsors as seen in the men’s game.

“In France, we already have some domestic partners who are only here because of the Woman’s World Cup – and these are big French companies – so it’s good to see the momentum and traction that women’s football is attracting.

“On the other hand, for the time being, I would say the proof is in the pudding. There is definitely more interest, which is great, but we’ll have to make sure that we can translate that interest into proper commercial programmes.”

Le Floc’h said that this year’s tournament will see Fifa invest more in women’s football than before via a $20m (€17.7m) commitment to the participating teams for pre-tournament preparations and a doubling in prize money from $15m to $30m.

This year, he said, Fifa is also putting a lot of money behind the broadcast production in each host city to deliver the “best image possible”.

“Hopefully, we will also have full stadiums because we have a very family-friendly and low ticketing [price] policy to make sure that the teams will be fully supported,” he said

Le Floc’h would not a put a time frame on Fifa’s decision-making for the future strategy, but said that no stone would be left unturned in achieving the most appropriate model.

Read this: Le Floc’h: Fifa Women’s World Cup sponsorship rights could be unbundled in 2022