Gillette ends deal with Brazil national soccer team amid crackdown

Sun Dec 6, 2015 5:02pm EST
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By Andrew Downie

(Reuters) - Gillette ended its sponsorship of Brazil's national soccer team in June, just days after the former president of the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) was arrested as part of a U.S.-led investigation into corruption, a spokesman for the organization confirmed on Sunday.

The shaving brand, owned by Proctor & Gamble Co., sponsored Brazil's friendly matches and staged photo opportunities at which players, including Barcelona's Dani Alves and Chelsea's Oscar, shaved their faces in front of fans and media.

Prosecutors accused Jose Maria Marin, who headed Brazil's preparations to host the 2014 World Cup, of racketeering, fraud and other crimes.

Last week, his successor, Marco Polo Del Nero, and his predecessor, Ricardo Teixeira, were among other global soccer executives indicted on similar charges by U.S. prosecutors.

Proctor & Gamble officials in Brazil and the United States did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The CBF spokesman would not disclose further details about the severed sponsorship, which was first reported by the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper on Sunday.

It is unclear how much the sponsorship was worth in monetary terms.

So far, Gillette is the only sponsor to abandon Brazil's national team, which also has deals with other major brands including Chevrolet, Mastercard, Nike, Samsung and Brazilian bank Itau.   Continued...

President of Brazilian Soccer Confederation (CBF) Marco Polo Del Nero arrives for a news conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in this photo taken October 22, 2015.   REUTERS/Sergio Moraes