(WFI) Passing anti-corruption reforms and electing Gianni Infantino as president seems to be having a positive effect in growing FIFA’s bottom line.
Football’s governing body announced on Friday, March 18 that the Wanda Group has become the first Chinese company to sign up as a FIFA Partner.
FIFA says the deal grants Wanda Group “the highest level of sponsorship rights, which includes the next four FIFA World Cup editions.”
Infantino, who was chosen to replace the disgraced Sepp Blatter on Feb. 26, said in a statement “We are pleased to welcome the Wanda Group to FIFA. A company that has a long affiliation with football, has been an active supporter of the game for many years and shares our enthusiasm to develop and strengthen football.”
The agreement comes just a day after FIFA reported a loss of $122 million for 2015, the first time since 2002 that the organization had lost money. A large part of the reason for the losses was a lack of new sponsorship money due to the scandals that have plagued FIFA in recent months.
The Associated Press had reported on Thursday that only seven of 34 commercial slots for the 2018 World Cup in Russia had been sold.
By INSIDER Gerard Farek
Your best source of news about the global football business is World Football INSIDER