Algorand Becomes The Official Blockchain Technology Partner of 2022 FIFA
On Monday, FIFA announced the signing of a contract with blockchain technology startup Algorand to become the first new American sponsor of the men’s World Cup in 11 years. According to FIFA, the agreement also includes a “technical cooperation” to assist FIFA in developing a digital assets strategy. It could aid FIFA in the marketing of soccer-related non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
The value of the World Cup sponsorship, which covers North American and European rights at a third-tier regional level, was not disclosed. FIFA has set a revenue target of $7 billion for its four-year commercial cycle, which concludes in Qatar. The agreement was made public in Los Angeles, where FIFA President Gianni Infantino was attending a business conference.
FIFA’s operations are shifting to North America in preparation for the expanded 2026 World Cup, which will be hosted by the United States, Canada, and Mexico. With 48 teams competing instead of 32 and 80 games played instead of 64, it should be a commercial boon.
Nonetheless, Algorand is the first new US-based sponsor of FIFA’s flagship World Cup since 2011. Johnson & Johnson only signed for the 2014 edition in Brazil, a crucial market. Over the last decade, FIFA has been implicated in a U.S. criminal investigation into international soccer corruption and has struggled to add American businesses to its long-term partners Coca-Cola, Visa, McDonald’s, and Budweiser.
Until recently, FIFA had signed nearly all of its sponsors for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments with companies from the host countries, Russia and Qatar, respectively, as well as China.
FIFA has now turned its attention to the technology industry, announcing a 2022 tournament agreement with Singapore-based cryptocurrency platform crypto.com in March. In a statement issued by FIFA, Algorand founder Silvio Micali stated that his company might “change the way we all experience the world’s game.” The agreement also includes the 2023 Women’s World Cup, which will be held by Australia and New Zealand.
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