Reports state that Sony won’t renew its contract with FIFA, which would see it back out of a years-long commitment. Its previous engagement had been running with the football organization since 2005.
Sponsorship would be worth a cool 33 billion yen over eight years of time. This is the equivalent of $277 million, which allowed the company to participate in over 40 tournaments.
Through the partnership, Sony was able to become an official sponsor for FIFA and the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, as well as the recent 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The company is one of only six to be able to have such a widespread presence with FIFA, the only one in the digital sector to do so.
Sony has noted a lot of losses this year, which have grown into hundreds of millions. It had to announce restructuring plans after failing in the tech sector, specifically through its line of phones.
The company indicates that its opting out of a renewal is due to the sponsorship costs rising. Alternatively, the stop could be tied to the current allegations that FIFA faces over corruption and human rights issues, which has lead other large sponsors to back out as well.
In speculation, a waning relationship with FIFA may affect Sony later on within the FIFA franchise. For instance, the company earlier this year changed a team jersey on the cover of FIFA 15 that was sponsored by its competitor, Xbox; an opportunity it may no longer be given without financial backing.
Samsung could be a potential successor to Sony, picking up the digital sector’s sponsorship with FIFA.