Fifa

Fifa has become the latest international beneficiary of the Chinese government’s mandate to improve football in the country and host a World Cup, with three major sponsorship deals either finalised or under discussion.

“Have you been to China recently?” I ask this because the question is really a kind of shorthand for a different sort of enquiry, that is to say: is your sports, brand or agency connected to the potentially vast quantities of money that will be spent on sport by both the public and private sector in China over the next few years?

Last week, Sports Sponsorship Insider listed the Top 40 biggest deals of 2015 by value over the lifetime of the contract. Looking ahead to this year, there are many more mega-deals to be made - deals that will surpass the $100m-plus mark that encompassed all but one of the 39 deals in our Top 40 of 2015.

Alibaba E-Auto, the car manufacturing brand of Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group, has secured a long-term partnership deal with football’s global governing body Fifa for the annual Club World Cup tournament.

Five leading sponsors of football’s world governing body, Fifa, have stated that any reforms that take place within the organisation should be subject to “independent oversight”.

Outgoing Fifa president Sepp Blatter has maintained that world football’s governing body is not a corrupt “institution,” adding that he is “clean” amid ongoing criminal investigations into the governance of the sport.

The Emirates airline has expressed an interest in renewing its commercial ties with Fifa when the corruption scandal currently engulfing football’s global governing body has been resolved.

Fifa’s five top-tier sponsors have broadly welcomed Sepp Blatter’s announcement that he will step down as president of world football’s governing body, but Coca-Cola and Visa have repeated warnings that they expect to see significant change at the organisation.

Financial services company Visa has said it will reassess its sponsorship of Fifa if football’s global governing body fails to implement changes in the wake of its latest scandal.

Executives from the Full Play, Torneos y Competencias and Traffic Sports agencies were accused today (Wednesday) of corruption in relation to the sale of marketing and media rights surrounding certain football matches and tournaments in the Americas.

Security software company Trend Micro Incorporated has signed a sponsorship agreement for the 2015 Fifa Women’s World Cup in Canada.

Thierry Weil, Fifa’s marketing director, has defended the value of a World Cup sponsorship, with news emerging today (Friday) that two more companies have decided against renewing high-profile deals.

Sports medicine specialist Clinica Meds, telecommunications provider Movistar and education institute Santo Tomas have reached deals to be national supporters of the Fifa U-17 World Cup national team football tournament when it arrives in Chile next year.

Korean automotive manufacturer Hyundai-Kia has pledged to stand by Fifa after financial services giant Visa became the latest top-tier partner to criticise football’s world governing body due to the ongoing fallout from the investigation into alleged corruption in the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding process.

Japanese electronics giant Sony is set to end its eight-year stint as a top-tier sponsor of football’s world governing body Fifa as it focuses on structural reforms, according to multiple reports.

Soft drinks giant and top-tier Fifa sponsor Coca-Cola has expressed its displeasure with the ongoing controversy surrounding the report into the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

Airline Emirates is understood to be in talks with another football property after the company announced it would end its relationship with Fifa at the end of 2014.