FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015: Sponsors Wanted!
This past October, Canadian Governor General Johnston proclaimed that 2015 would be the Year of Sport in Canada! In 2015, Canada will host the World Junior Hockey Championships (Gold ✓), the 25th Canada Games, the Pan and Parapan American Games, and the FIFA Women’s World Cup (FWWC). This year’s FWWC should generate significant interest among Canadians due to the endearing performance of the Canadian Women’s National Team at the 2012 London Olympics (the team is currently ranked 9th internationally), and the international appeal of football in Canada, a country that prides itself on possessing a mosaic of cultures.
Host Cities: Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Montreal, and Moncton Dates: June 6 – July 5 Edition: 7th Women’s World Cup Mascot: Shuéme, a great white owl
Draw: Seen below, as announced on December 6, 2014 in Ottawa
With the tournament quickly approaching, it seems concerning that only 2 of a projected 6 national tournament sponsors have been announced (Bell and Labatt). The FWWC represents a unique opportunity for national brands to connect with a globally recognized organization (FIFA), as well as the emerging trend of female participation as a theme in sport marketing. So why are companies shying away?
FIFA Scandals – FIFA seems to always be in the midst of defending itself from allegations. Whether it is alleged match-fixing (South Africa, 2010), or hosting rights bribery (Qatar, 2022), sponsors may be reluctant to associate with the notorious F-I-F-A.
Players Protest Artificial Turf – A group of elite female football players have filed a case with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario protesting the planned use of artificial turf during the FWWC 2015. Though the players may not win their case, the damage from a branding perspective, for a top-tier competition, may have already been done.
No T.O. – Finally, Canada’s biggest metropolitan area is not one of the 6 host cities! During the FWWC 2015, Toronto will be preparing to host the Pan and Parapan American Games (July 10-26). The Toronto Pan American Games provide competition to the FFWC 2015 from a sponsorship perspective.
When assessing potential national sponsors for FIFA 2015 it is necessary to consider the category exclusivity of existing FIFA Partners and existing Tournament National Supporters.