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How FIFA Makes Money: 2019-22 Cycle Revenue Generation and Distribution Explained

FIFA is the governing body of the football association. It is formed in 1904 to oversee, organize and promote a growing number of international football competitions. According to the official website, FIFA aims to “promote the game of football, protect its integrity, and bring the game to all.” Most of us recognize FIFA due to FIFA World Cup that happens every four years. But the question arises, How FIFA makes money? if the world cup is played every four years. To find the answers Lets check the FIFA Revenue model.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • FIFA makes money through the sale of television, marketing, and licensing rights for football events like the World Cup.
  • Infrastructure costs for World Cup events are left up to host countries, keeping FIFA’s expenses low.
  • In 2018, FIFA generated more than $4.6 billion in revenue.
  • As a nonprofit organization, FIFA invests the majority of its earnings back into the development of the sport of football (soccer).

How FIFA Makes Money

Apart from the World cup, FIFA also organizes and promotes international tournaments like the Women’s World Cup, Club World Cup (Men’s & Women’s), U-20 World Cup (Men’s & Women’s), U-17 World Cup (Men’s & Women’s), Futsal World Cup (Men’s), Beach Soccer World Cup (Men’s), etc to generate the revenue. 

How FIFA Makes Money: 2019-22 Cycle Revenue Generation And Distribution Explained
Actual revenue 2015‑2018 versus revised budget 2019‑2022 (USD million)

However, FIFA is a non-profit organization that puts back most of its earnings to, Grow the game, Enhance the experience, and Build a stronger institution

FIFA shares its budget for a four-year interval, the current one being 2019–2022. And According to the FIFA Annual Report of 2021, FIFA’s revenue comes from the below-mentioned sources, which are

  1. Television broadcasting rights (16%)
  2. Marketing rights (17%)
  3. Licensing rights (23%)
  4. Hospitality rights and ticket sales (12%)
  5. Other sources like income from the FIFA World Football Museum, rental income, etc. (42%)
2019-2022 Revenue Budget by category

FIFA operates in a four-year cycle and the vast majority (around 95 %) of the organization’s revenues come from the sale of television, marketing, hospitality, and licensing rights related to the FIFA World Cup. Meanwhile, the majority of FIFA’s expenditure is spent on football development around the world.

It’s also worthy to mention that a majority of FIFA’s revenue is driven by the World Cup. For example, FIFA World Cup drove 83% of the total revenue in the 2015–2019 cycle.

Let’s try to understand each of the revenue streams.

TV broadcasting rights

FIFA’s overall revenue was $6.421Billion for the 2015–2019 cycle. Out of $6.421 billion, 49% or $3.127 Billion of the revenue came from television broadcasting rights. $155 million came from other broadcasting and FIFA events revenue sources like host broadcasting services. Lets Breakdown the television broadcasting rights region wise:

  • Asia and North Africa ($974 million)
  • Europe ($920 million)
  • North America and the Caribbean ($522 million)
  • South and Central America ($454 million)
  • Rest of the world ($104 million)

Of the $4.6 billion in revenue FIFA generated in 2018, 55% (about $2.54 billion) came from television rights. FIFA sells licensing rights to television stations and broadcasting institutions.

In a bidding war between ESPN and Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. FOX outbid Disney’s ESPN and paid $400 million to FIFA for television rights through the 2022 World Cup.

Not much surprise here, the television broadcasting rights remains the largest revenue-generating stream for FIFA.

Marketing rights

The next most significant source of income for FIFA is the sale of marketing rights. The marketing rights are worth $1.66 billion in the four-year cycle leading up to the current World Cup.

Marketing rights enable the brands to become long-term FIFA Partners, FIFA World Cup Sponsors, Regional Supporters, and National Supporters and access the FIFA’s intellectual property.

The marketing rights are further divided into tangible rights and intangible rights. Tangible rights are based only on broadcast and are calculated for fixed broadcast hours.

let’s see how $1.66 billion is divided into different sponsorships:

  • FIFA Partners | $1,118 million
  • World Cup Sponsors | $363 million
  • FIFA Regional Supporters | $153 million
  • FIFA National Supporters | $26 million

Marketing rights drive a significant portion of the revenue for FIFA and help the organization to promote the tournaments and the game by leveraging the popularity of the sponsors among consumers.

FIFA Licensing rights

Licensing rights allow the brands to use FIFA marks and brand elements on hundreds of products. The product categories are sports apparel, watches, stickers, timekeepers, electronic games, music, and more.

FIFA generated $600 million in licensing rights for the 2015-2018 cycle, 114% more than for the previous cycle. It is 9% of the total revenue.

Hospitality rights and ticket sales

The final significant component of FIFA’s revenue stream consists of hospitality and accommodation rights, as well as ticket sales. The rights usually include a fixed portion and a variable profit-sharing component.

Of FIFA’s total revenue for the 2015–2019 cycle, hospitality and accommodation accounted for 2.3%, $148 million. The majority of the portion came from the 2018 FIFA Worldcup

from 2015-2018, FIFA reported $712 million in hospitality rights and ticket sales revenue. More than 10 million tickets were requested for the 2018 World Cup events in Russia.

The ticket sales are divided into various customer groups:

  • General public (70%)
  • Participating member associations (14%)
  • Hospitality (6%)
  • Commercial Affiliates (5%)
  • Other (5%)

Other sources

FIFA also makes money from some miscellaneous sources like,

  • Penalties or appeals
  • FIFA Quality Programme
  • FIFA World Football Museum
  • Sales of film or video rights, etc.
  • Gaming rights
Revenue of the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) from 2003 to 2020 (in million U.S. dollars)

FIFA Revenue for 2022

FIFA is currently budgeting for total revenue of $4.67 billion in 2022. Governing body divided the expecting revenue into 3 categories that are:

  1. More than half, $2.64 billion of this would come from broadcasting rights
  2. $1.35 billion from marketing rights
  3. $500 million from hospitality rights and ticket sales.

The governing body plans to invest just under $1.7 billion in the Worldcup competition.

Conclusion

FIFA makes the bulk of its revenue from the FIFA World Cup. However, the popularity of the FIFA Women’s World Cup is steadily growing and the 2019 edition attracted a 233% increase in contributions.

Television broadcasting rights along with marketing and branding rights boast the financial numbers.

As FIFA remains a non-profit organization invests back the revenue in the development of the game, governance of the body, marketing & broadcasting, and in competitions and events.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below on our breakdown of FIFA’s revenue and if you want to add any related insights.

Written By

High on sports since forever, aspiring sports journalist and a FC Barcelona fan. Enjoys writing articles on any sport. Can also be considered a F1 bandwagoner.

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