Rio, bravo! Football Federation of Australia hopes for cash hit from World Cup finals berth

Boon: The FFA are expecting an influx of sponsorship and corporate partner deals following the Socceroos' qualification for the World Cup.

Boon: The FFA are expecting an influx of sponsorship and corporate partner deals following the Socceroos’ qualification for the World Cup. Photo: Dallas Kilponen

The Socceroos’ qualification for the 2014 FIFA World Cup is set to boost sports retail spending by up to $20 million and will line the coffers of the Football Federation of Australia through an influx of sponsorship and corporate partner deals.

The Socceroos’ participation in Brazil will lead to a considerable spike in merchandise sales that the FFA predicts will account for an increase of nearly 200 per cent of their current figures. In monetary terms, retailers can expect to experience a jump in the take-up of official Socceroos’ merchandise of at least $10 million and potentially as high as $20 million.

The FFA is set to experience a surge in mass-market retail interest as a result of the successful World Cup qualification. Products will be sold in national department stores. The news is a boost to Australian football after Qantas announced it would not renew its deal as the naming partner of the national team and will scale back its partnership with the FFA. Australia’s national carrier will continue to serve as the official airline of the national team but will cease to be the naming partner from July 1. The end of the deal worth between $4.5 and $5 million a year may be seen as a blow to the game but the FFA is not panicking yet.

Fairfax Media understands the governing body has already held preliminary talks with two large Australian companies to become the new naming partner, but are not prepared to rush into any new agreement until they have assessed the full value of the Socceroos’ fourth World Cup appearance. Talks with one company are believed to have ended, while the other still remains a potential suitor to brand the Socceroos in Brazil as well as throughout the 2015 Asian Cup, hosted by Australia.

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“Football’s best years are ahead of us, not behind us, and that’s the exciting proposition that differentiates us from all the other sports in Australia,” said David Tucker, FFA head of commercial operations.

“Football offers opportunities that are totally different from the normal commercial engagement with traditional sports because we are part of something bigger. It’s Australia playing the world game on the world’s biggest stage.”

With the end of its contract with Qantas, the FFA is looking to secure a new partner that has the financial capacity to assume the naming-rights position and shares its strategic push towards the Asian market. ”This means we have interest from Australian companies who want to have international reach through football and international companies who want to make a mark in the Australian market. That’s why we say this is an opportunity like no other,” Tucker said.

The FFA is in talks with six companies vying for five partnership deals, which will collectively bring the game between $4.5 million and $5.5 million annually. These secondary deals do not relate to the naming rights of the Socceroos but hinged on Australia’s qualification to Brazil.

The negotiations began as a result of the general interest in the Socceroos but accelerated towards the finale of the qualifying series. Had Australia not secured a direct path to Brazil, many of those deals would have fallen in value and some offers would have been withdrawn.

Brisbane Time – 22 June 2013

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