Sony does not plan to renew FIFA sponsorship contract: sources

Tue Nov 25, 2014 6:54am EST
 
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TOKYO (Reuters) - Sony Corp does not plan to renew its sponsorship contract with FIFA, the governing body for world soccer, as the Japanese electronics maker needs to prioritize its restructuring efforts, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Such a move would follow Emirates Airline's [EMIRA.UL] announcement this month that it was ending its sponsorship of FIFA, a blow to the governing body as it investigates whether there was corruption in the bidding process for the next two World Cup competitions.

Sony has been a FIFA sponsor for the eight years to 2014 in a contract worth 33 billion yen ($280 million).

Sony on Tuesday said it was aiming to restructure its television and mobile divisions further, while targeting robust growth for its electronics devices division, which houses its growing image sensors business.

An official for the electronics conglomerate said he could not comment on future contracts.

The people familiar with the matter declined to be identified as they were not authorized to speak to the media.

A FIFA spokesman said: "The existing contract with Sony runs until 31 December 2014 and we are currently in discussions with the brand."

Sponsors have put pressure on FIFA to respond robustly to allegations of bribery to secure the 2018 World Cup for Russia and the 2022 tournament to Qatar.

Earlier this month, FIFA's ethics judge Hans-Joachim Eckert said in a statement there were no grounds to reopen the controversial bidding process, clearing Qatar and Russia of wrongdoing.   Continued...

 
A large soccer ball-shaped installation promoting Sony Corp's partnership with FIFA is hung at Sony Corp's headquarters in Tokyo June 19, 2009. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon