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FIFA Sponsors Concerned About Controversy, Demand Probe

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With just a day to go before the FIFA World Cup, the organizers of this huge sporting event find themselves in a spot of bother. Qatar being the host for the 2022 World Cup has raked up a controversy with allegations of bribery doing the rounds. FIFA partners and sponsors including big names like The Coca-Cola Company (KO - Free Report) and Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (BUD - Free Report) - are said to have voiced their concerns, demanding appropriate investigation.   

Three of the official World Cup sponsors -- Coca-Cola, Anheuser-Busch InBev and Adidas AG (ADDYY - Free Report) -- were particularly not pleased with the situation. Coca-Cola is concerned that such scandals will hurt the ideals of the FIFA World Cup. On the other hand, Anheuser-Busch InBev expects that FIFA will take adequate steps to contain the situation. Adidas voiced that such allegations are not healthy for football, FIFA and the sponsors.  

These companies have spent millions on their respective FIFA World Cup marketing programs in a bid to boost their revenues in the upcoming quarters. Any negative publicity at this moment will harm the sponsor’s interest.  

Coca Cola has been associated with FIFA since 1974 and has sponsored the World Cup since 1978. The company kicked off its FIFA World Cup marketing program in Apr 2014.

The FIFA World Cup marketing campaign is part of Coca-Cola’s plan to invest $400 million in media in 2014 to reinvigorate its sparkling brands like Coke, Fanta and Sprite that are suffering due to challenges in the carbonated soft drinks (CSD) category.

Other than these three official World Cup sponsors, Mondelez International, Inc. (MDLZ - Free Report) and PepsiCo, Inc. (PEP - Free Report) are sponsoring the U.S team.

All four companies -- Coca Cola, Mondelez, Anheuser-Busch InBev and PepsiCo -- carry a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). On the other hand, Adidas carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).

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