Thierry Weil, former FIFA marketing director (Getty Images)

(WFI) FIFA says goodbye to its longtime marketing director as it welcomes the man who is essentially replacing him under a restructuring plan.

FIFA tells INSIDER “Thierry Weil decided to pursue a career elsewhere after nine successful years at FIFA”. But Weil’s departure comes within days of Philippe Le Floc’h’s arrival to take up the newly created position of chief commercial officer.

Le Floc’h is now in charge of the marketing and TV divisions of FIFA in his new position which was created as part of the restructuring of world football’s governing body in the wake of the corruption scandals that brought the federation to its knees.

It’s no stretch to say that Weil was not part of FIFA boss Gianni Infantino’s vision for the future of football’s governing body.

Weil’s final deal for FIFA was completed in March, when Wanda Group became FIFA’s first Chinese top-tier sponsor by signing on through the 2030 World Cup.

Philippe Le Floc’h, FIFA’s chief commercial officer (Getty Images)

Le Floc’h, who worked under the current FIFA president when Gianni Infantino was general secretary of UEFA, will be looking for more of the same with ramping up Russia 2018 World Cup sponsorships one of his first priorities.

In July, Russia’s Alfa Bank was unveiled as the first regional sponsor – FIFA’s biggest partnership for the Russia tournament in the wake of a scandal-hit 18 months for FIFA.

FIFA’s new commercial strategy for the World Cup includes making four regional sponsor slots available in Europe, North America, South America, the Middle East and Africa, plus Asia.

Infantino prioritized increasing sponsorship revenue when he was elected in February. He spoke of the challenges of reviving FIFA’s flagging financial fortunes; the federation recorded a $122 million loss for 2015.

FIFA faces a $500 million shortfall in sponsorship revenues for the current cycle. Projected revenues from the 2015-18 cycle are $5.65 billion.

By INSIDER Gerard Farek

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