World Cup TV Rights and Sponsorships

Intangibles underlie the value of television rights and/or sponsorships for the 2018 World Cup. The ‘assessed’ dollar value, presumably projected by FIFA, to TV rights for the upcoming matches for Italy alone, was in the $200 million-dollar range. However, for the first time in 60 years, Italy’s National Team was not eligible to play in – for the World Cup championship following their recent loss to Sweden.

Virtually overnight, the value of the TV rights and sponsorships projected to be gleaned from the Italian market…halved to $100 million (+/-).  For FIFA, the World Cup oversight-organizing entity selling the TV rights and sponsorships, this translates as an obvious (anticipated) loss due to fewer Italians having an interest in paying to watch a World Cup that does not include their country’s team.

Intangible #1 The individual sense of gratitude (an intangible) of having one’s national and/or favorite team competing-playing in the World Cup raises the value of each match of which there are a total of 64 matches.  Italy’s national team, had it been eligible, could potentially play in only 7 of the (64) matches.

Never-the-less, TV market analysts estimate that not having one’s country’s team play in the World Cup championship could potentially manifest as a loss of 50+/-% of the projected audience.  Again, this translates to a substantially reduced value for the TV rights and sponsorships.

Intangible #2 – The euphoric ‘feel good’ intangibles related to having one’s national team compete in – for the World Cup have clear and measurable value to a teams ‘die hard’ fans who would likely need no particular inducement from FIFA, etc., to pay for the privilege to watch in pay-per-view contexts.

Intangible #3 – But, the ‘die hard’ fan contributes to – drives another measurable intangible that is often overlooked.  That is, ‘die hard’ fans induce – attract perhaps millions of additional (a secondary tier of) viewers, i.e., the occasional fan, who otherwise may not have sufficient independent interest to watch the World Cup, let alone, be willing to (independently) pay for such privilege.

Intangible #4 – For the ‘occasional fan’ group, there is another  intangible sense which manifests as, among other things, an individualized desire – felt need to be part of – be able to participate in the inevitable ‘national conversation’ that would be sure to accompany each World Cup match their country’s team competed.

Intangible #5 – Adding risk to FIFA’s projected revenue losses from downsized viewer markets and TV rights and sponsorships, is their already tarnished image and reputation (intangibles) which have emerged from investigations undertaken by federal authorities in the U.S., Sweden, and France alleging various corrupt practices. These circumstance indeed influence existing and potential (would be) sponsors to ask-assess whether FIFA events, ala The World Cup, is a risk free-safe, and lucrative environment to use their marketing – sponsorship dollars?

This post was influenced by the BBC Radio program ‘More or Less: Behind the Stats’ broadcast on November 18, 2017.

Michael D. Moberly November 18, 2017 St. Louis [email protected] ‘The Business Intangible Asset Blog’ since May 2006, ‘where one’s attention span, intangible assets, and solutions converge’.

Readers are invited to explore other blog posts, papers, and books I have published at

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