Final Soccer World Cup Sponsor to Spend $50 Million in 15 Months

Grupo SBF’s Centauro unit, Latin America’s largest sporting goods retailer, said it will spend more than $50 million on marketing for next year’s soccer World Cup after becoming the tournament’s final commercial partner.

The agreement with soccer’s governing body to become a World Cup national supporter also gives Centauro marketing rights at next month’s eight-nation Confederations Cup.

“We cannot say the exact figure we have agreed to pay FIFA but our company will invest more than $50 million in the next 15 months,” Sebastião Bomfim Filho, Grupo SBF’s chief executive officer, said in an interview last night.

The World Cup accounts for the majority of Zurich-based FIFA’s annual revenue of $1.2 billion. Its partnership agreements are broken down into three categories, with six companies including Coca Cola Co. and Adidas AG given top billing as global partners. They’re followed by eight international World Cup sponsors and six national supporters.

Centauro completes the line-up of commercial partners for the 2014 tournament, FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valcke told reporters yesterday at the headquarters of the 2014 World Cup organizing committee in Rio de Janeiro.

“We have no more space for any commercial company to join,” Valcke said. “FIFA World Cup 2014 is sold out.”

Bomfim Filho, who described the marketing agreement as the biggest in his company’s 32-year history, said negotiations to secure the last slot were tough.

“We had to discuss a lot of our campaigns for the World Cup,” he said. “We’re very happy because we are the first retail company FIFA has signed anywhere in the world.”

Centauro plans to make use of its dealings with Adidas ahead of the World Cup.

“We will have a big relationship with Adidas,” Bomfim Filho said. “We are the biggest customer for Adidas in Brazil so we are to make a lot of things together over the next months.”

Global sponsorship packages for the 2014 World Cup sold out in July 2011 when FIFA signed Johnson & Johnson.

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