Even as FIFA struggles to get sponsors for its event following the corruption scandal that has rocked the body, Qatar Airways has announced a partnership with FIFA.
The national career of the Middle Eastern nation agreed a deal with FIFA to be the official airline for the next five years.
The multimillion dollar deal will see the airline’s brand on upcoming football related events around the world including the 2018 World Cup in Russia and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. The total value of the deal was kept under wraps but is seems to be a mutually beneficial one.
FIFA said the deal was “one of the biggest sporting sponsorships in the world and the largest in the history of Qatar Airways. With the way the statement from the world regulatory body was worded, the deal would likely be worth hundreds of millions of dollar as the deals with Coca cola, Hyundai and Adidas.
There have been allegations from several quarters that FIFA more or less sold the hosting rights for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup to Russia and Qatar. It has affected the brand seriously and getting sponsors have been difficult.
FIFA also promised to uphold human rights in Qatar following numerous high profile complains about migrant workers in Qatar. While many laud this deal, they say it is a conflict of interest, especially with the timing.
FIFA recently posted a loss of USD369 million for the year ended 2016 but the body reassured the world that they were doing just fine. The deal would help FIFA with its financial woes and reassure other brands that they were not toxic. However, aside helping to publicize the Qatar Airways brand, could there be an underlining interest?