Why There Aren’t Goannas On Harry Kane’s Shirt: Algorand & FIFA’s Partnership Explained
“FIFA rugged Algorand” was the first tweet I saw this morning as we look to kick off the most controversial World Cup in history.
But to some, the Qatar World Cup is not drenched in controversy due to FIFA’s handling of the bidding process, or the humanitarian issues in Qatar or even because no alcohol can be served in the stadium- but in fact it’s because of a partnership with a seemingly unknown blockchain protocol called Algorand.
Back in May of this year FIFA announced a partnership with Algorand, the layer one blockchain founded by MIT professor Silvio Micali which sent the Algo community loopy on Twitter. Understandably.
The official press release of the agreement stated, “FIFA has teamed up with blockchain technology company Algorand to agree a sponsorship and technical partnership deal.”
“Algorand will [also] assist FIFA in further developing its digital assets strategy, while FIFA will provide sponsorship assets including advertising, media exposure and promotional opportunities.”
So What Has Come From This Partnership So Far?
FIFA + Collect , a digital collectible NFT marketplace for users to own notable moments of World Cup history as tradable NFTs
A great product for consumers to engage in; it is also priced in Dollars which is handy. However Algorand only gets a few mentions in the FAQs and at the bottom of the website but nothing on the “about” page.
More To Come?
Michael Arrington, TechCrunch founder and Algorand VC, met with President Gianni Infantino after the announcement and stated on Twitter that “This is the real thing, and they are going to do big things together.”
In a Coin Desk interview back in June, Staci Warden, Algorand Foundation CEO, spoke about the upcoming partnership and alluded to FIFA having their blockchain wallet on Algorand, offering secondary ticket sales and even player trading.
It is important to point out the severance of ties between Electronic Arts (EA) and FIFA who had been together for 3 decades building out the FIFA video game franchise. The popular football game will now be referred to as EA SPORTS FC, whilst the FIFA President Gianni confirms a FIFA 25 will be made.
The question then arises of who will be the 3rd parties and game studios developing the new official FIFA game?
With Staci alluding to “player trading” along with Algorand and FIFA having a technical partnership to ‘shape digital strategy’ plus an already functioning digital collectible marketplace – could FIFA 25 be built on blockchain with Algorand’s help?
Would be extremely exciting but little communication has been shared around this matter.
Why Isn’t Algorand Plastered All Over The Stadium ?
It is essential to re-read the press release and understand the type of partnership Algorand has got.
“FIFA has teamed up with blockchain technology company Algorand to agree a sponsorship AND technical partnership deal. The agreement means Algorand will become the official blockchain platform of FIFA and provide the official blockchain-supported wallet solution. As per the sponsorship agreement, Algorand will be a FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ Regional Supporter in North America and Europe.”
There are two parts here :
- A technical partnership with FIFA as a company (not World Cup) encompassing the collectible marketplace and perhaps later game developments ( purely speculation).
- They are a Regional Supporter of the World Cup
Regional Supporter means any entity to which FIFA grants the third most comprehensive package of advertising, promotional and marketing rights in relation to the FIFA World Cup™ and the FIFA Confederations Cup, including the Competition, such rights to be exercisable on a regional basis.
Types Of World Cup Sponsorship Packages
The most common angst from the algofam community is that Algorand is not listed on their official partners page. That’s because Algorand is NOT a FIFA PARTNER, there are only 7 companies who have global rights and can use FIFA’s branding during all tournaments and across all branches:
- Adidas (sportswear)
- Coca Cola (beverage)
- Wanda Group (conglomerate)
- Hyundai/Kia Motors (automotive)
- Qatar Airways (airline)
- QatarEnergy (oil & gas)
- Visa (financial services)
Algorand does not have global rights to use FIFA branding during WC throughout all regions.
There is still another tier before we get to where Algorand fit in:
FIFA World Cup Sponsors
The second tier consists of ‘World Cup Sponsors’. These are companies who have global rights as well but are restricted to the World Cup tournament (in the build-up and during).
FIFA has seven World Cup Sponsors:
- Budweiser (alcoholic beverage and part of Anheuser-Busch InBev)
- Byju’s (educational technology)
- Crypto.com (cryptocurrency platform)
- Hisense (electronics & home appliances)
- McDonald’s (restaurants & real estate)
- Mengniu Dairy (dairy products)
- Vivo (consumer electronics)
These are plastered all over billboards on stadiums.
FIFA World Cup Regional Supporters (Algorands here)
These companies have the same tournament rights but are restricted to one (or more) of the five regions. FIFA has a maximum of four companies per region.
The final Regional Sponsor (RS) was Fine Hygienic Holding, announced only recently allowing sanitization in stadiums.
Regional Sponsors include
- Algorand 🇺🇸 ( Blockchain)
- Frito-Lay (Potato Chips PepsiCo Owned) 🇺🇸
- The Look Company, 🇺🇸 (visual engagements, events)
- Claro, (Telcoms)
- Nubank, ( LATAM digital retail financial institution)
- UPL LTD (Sustainable agriculture business)
- GWC Logistics (Qatar-based logistics company)
- Ooredoo (Qatari telecommunications firm)
- QNB Group (Bank )
- BOSS Zhipin ( Chineese recruitment )
- Yadea (electric scooters)
- Inter Rapidísimo (Colombian logistics provider)
In 2018 the 8 RS sponsorship slots were sold between €6m- €12m, whether or not they are still that much or more, I cannot confirm. However it is reported that companies were put off from sponsoring the 2018 Russian World Cup due to the 2015 FIFA corruption scandal thus it is suggested that the RS deals were at a discount [back in 2018].
The packages range in price and benefits, therefore perhaps some will get in-stadium perimeter adverts, some not. Only 3 games have been played so far – perhaps an Algorand logo comes out for the USA games? who knows.
As Algorand are just the regional sponsors for North America and Europe – why would there be Algorand plastered all around Qatari stadiums? Or Goannas on the tickets or even Crazy Gooses on the Christian Pulisic’s shirt… come on now
The Algorand community need to be realistic in their preconceived misconceptions about the Algorand x FIFA partnership as any misinterpretation is on the individual and not on Algorand nor the Foundation.
With the 2026 World Cup going to the States, perhaps Algorand will play a bigger role in that tournament in various capacities such blockchain based solutions in ticketing and other digital merchandise.
There may be more marketing material to come out regionally in relation to Algorand; the Decipher conference is next week thus perhaps theres some announcement?
Stay positive and keep building products
This post is a digital asset minted on the Algorand blockchain and licensed through Tokenblogs. It was created by Milo S-P
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