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Here's How FIFA's World Cup Sponsors Have Performed on the Stock Market

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The knockout stage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia kicks off Saturday on Fox (FOXA - Free Report) and Telemundo. With half of the original 32 teams eliminated and ratings up, World Cup drama is really just beginning. So let’s see how some of the biggest FIFA and World Cup sponsors have performed, along with a quick look at the TV ratings.


The early World Cup ratings on Fox were down 44% compared to the 2014 tournament on ESPN (DIS - Free Report) , according to Nielsen. Meanwhile, Spanish-language network Telemundo, which is owned by NBCUniversal (CMCSA - Free Report) , saw a comparable drop. This downward trend then quickly flipped.

Germany’s June 23 stoppage-time victory grabbed 5.4 million viewers on Fox, which made it the most-watched non-U.S. men’s group stage game on English-language TV in 28 years. Other games also grabbed big numbers, with viewership on Day 14 up 34% compared to 2014.

Fox noted that its overall group stage viewership was up 1%, compared to the average of the last four World Cups. This might not sound like much, but many expected Fox’s ratings to suffer since the U.S. did not qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1986.

Meanwhile, overall TV ratings are down, including the NFL’s. So with that said, let’s quickly look at how these integral parts of the tournament in the U.S. have performed on the stock market.

Fox & Telemundo

Fox and Telemundo won the rights to broadcast the 2018 and 2022 World Cups in the United States, paying roughly $1 billion combined.


Clearly, both Fox and Telemundo’s parent company Comcast have performed rather well since the two companies signed their massive World Cup deals back in 2011. Both networks also own rights to the 2026 World Cup that will be held in North America.


Now let’s move onto some official FIFA partners and World Cup sponsors, which reportedly pay between $25 million and $50 million annually to be a FIFA partner and $10 million to $25 million to be a major World Cup sponsor.

There are currently seven FIFA partners for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup cycle. This list includes Adidas (ADDYY - Free Report) , Coca-Cola (KO - Free Report) , Visa (V - Free Report) , Hyundai/ Kia, Chinese conglomerate Wanda, Russian giant Gazprom, and Qatar Airways. Meanwhile, Budweiser (BUD - Free Report) and McDonald’s (MCD - Free Report) , along with a few others, are official 2018 World Cup sponsors.


Coca-Cola has been associated with FIFA since 1974. The company signed a signed a 16-year extension with FIFA in 2005, which takes it through the 2022 World Cup—a deal the beverage giant made before it even knew where the 2018 and 2022 tournaments would be held.


Investors will note that Coca-Cola has underperformed the S&P 500 since it signed its latest extension. More recently, KO stock has done dramatically worse than the index, up just 8.4% over the last five years against the index’s nearly 82% climb.


The German sportswear powerhouse has been a FIFA partner since 1970. In November 2013, Adidas signed an extension to become the official partner, supplier, and licensee for the FIFA World Cup and all FIFA events until 2030. Adidas stock has performed rather well since it signed its new FIFA deal. However, it is worth noting that the company’s surge currently lags rival Nike’s (NKE - Free Report) climb, which is also a major player at the World Cup in terms of team and player sponsorships. 


Make sure to come back to Zacks for more 2018 World Cup business updates.

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