How FIFA Makes Money: Global Football and Licensing

FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Soccer Affiliation or Worldwide Federation of Affiliation Soccer) was shaped in 1904 to supervise, arrange, and promote a rising variety of worldwide soccer (soccer) competitions. As a result of the game is performed in additional than 200 nations, it has arguably the biggest fan following of any sport across the globe. In line with the official web site, FIFA is “modernising soccer to be world, accessible and inclusive in all points. Not simply on one or two continents, however in all places.”

FIFA is a nonprofit group, invests most of its revenue again into the event of the sport, and has large incomes energy. Most of those earnings come from organizing and advertising main worldwide competitions, with the preferred being the Males’s and Girls’s World Cup, every of which occurs each 4 years. Different competitions just like the continental championships and the FIFA Confederations Cup are additionally fairly widespread. In 2018, which is when the final World Cup was held, FIFA generated greater than $4.6 billion in income.

FIFA’s Enterprise Mannequin

The World Cup isn’t just one of many greatest sports activities occasions on the planet, however additionally it is a serious supply of FIFA’s income. FIFA positive factors loads from this and different occasions by promoting tv rights, advertising rights, and licensing rights, in addition to income from ticket gross sales. Apart from that, FIFA’s prices are minimal, serving to to make sure that the group has as a lot cash as potential to place again into the event of the game itself.

Key Takeaways

  • FIFA makes cash via the sale of tv, advertising, and licensing rights for soccer occasions just like the World Cup.
  • Infrastructure prices for World Cup occasions are left as much as host nations, retaining FIFA’s bills low.
  • In 2018, which is when the final World Cup was held, FIFA generated greater than $4.6 billion in income.
  • As a nonprofit group, FIFA invests the vast majority of its earnings again into the event of the game of soccer (soccer).
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Economies of the World Cup

FIFA is the only real physique charged with organizing the World Cup and the Girls’s World Cup, and as such retains entry to all of the revenues. It’s normal for these occasions to generate billions of {dollars} in income. The World Cup host nation is determined upon by a bidding course of, and it’s a fierce competitors. Qatar will host the World Cup in 2022, whereas the U.S., Canada, and Mexico have been chosen to host the occasion for its twenty third version in 2026.

Organizing such an enormous and widespread occasion requires quite a lot of funding, particularly in constructing and enhancing world-class infrastructure. Thus, the nation that wins the bid attracts quite a lot of curiosity from buyers, which will help to spice up the financial system. 

The subsequent World Cup kicks off Nov. 20, 2022 in Qatar.


With so many nations vying to host the World Cup, FIFA naturally will get a giant bargaining chip and will get away with dictating many of the phrases. FIFA doesn’t spend money on any infrastructure created for the Cup; the onus for that lies solely on the host nation. FIFA pays the native organizing committee for organizing and conducting the World Cup. It additionally pays prize cash to the taking part nations, accounts for the journey and lodging of gamers, and helps employees and match officers. Additionally, it makes out there for the host nation a FIFA World Cup legacy fund for use sooner or later for the event of the sport within the nation.

FIFA’s World Cup bills are comparatively low. It covers the price of organizing and conducting the event, together with paying prize cash to members, however is not chargeable for making certain the best infrastructure is in place—that massive expense lies with the host nation.

Other than the price associated to FIFA occasions, FIFA’s main prices additionally contain improvement bills, personnel bills, and a monetary help program.

FIFA information its income in a four-year cycle main as much as World Cups. Within the final cycle, protecting the interval between 2015 and 2018, FIFA reported income of greater than $6.4 billion. Whereas the vast majority of this income got here from licensing contracts, different sources of revenue included model licensing and funding revenue.


The proportion of FIFA’s revenues generated from the World Cup.

FIFA’s Tv Rights

Of the $6.4 billion in income FIFA generated between 2015 and 2018, 49% (about $3.13 billion) got here from tv rights. FIFA sells licensing rights to tv stations and broadcasting establishments, letting them broadcast soccer video games and associated occasions particularly areas. As a result of soccer is immensely widespread all through the world, competitors amongst broadcasters for licensing rights could be fierce.

In a bidding conflict between ESPN and Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. (FOXA), FOX outbid Disney’s ESPN and paid greater than $400 million to FIFA for tv rights via the 2022 World Cup. Meta Inc. (META), previously Fb, Twitter Inc (TWTR), and Snap Inc. (SNAP) all provided thousands and thousands of {dollars} to FOX for spotlight rights.

FIFA’s Advertising and marketing Rights

The subsequent most vital supply of revenue for FIFA is the sale of promoting rights, which totaled $1.66 billion within the four-year cycle main as much as the 2018 World Cup. That is an particularly spectacular determine on condition that a lot of this cycle included a highly-publicized corruption scandal involving quite a few high-level leaders of FIFA.

There are 4 World Cup sponsorship ranges: FIFA Companions, FIFA World Cup Sponsors, Regional Supporters, and Nationwide Supporters. FIFA Companions assist develop the FIFA model and interact in company social duty. FIFA World Cup Sponsors are given the rights to advertise their model on the World Cup. Regional and Nationwide Supporters are headquartered in varied areas and/or the host nation and have the rights to advertise their manufacturers inside these areas.

FIFA’s Licensing Rights

FIFA generated $600 million in licensing rights for the 2015-2018 cycle, 114% greater than for the earlier cycle. This income comes from the sale of name licensing contracts, royalty funds, and different comparable sources.

FIFA’s Hospitality Rights and Ticket Gross sales

The ultimate significant factor of FIFA’s income stream consists of hospitality and lodging rights, in addition to ticket gross sales. Notably, income from ticketing rights is 100% owned by a direct subsidiary of FIFA. From 2015-2018, FIFA reported $712 million in hospitality rights and ticket gross sales income.

Greater than 10 million tickets had been requested for the 2018 World Cup occasions in Russia. Tickets have additionally been in excessive demand for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, with the highest 10 buying nations consisting of Qatar, america, Saudi Arabia, England, Mexico, the United Arab Emirates, Argentina, France, Brazil, and Germany.

Future Plans

As long as soccer stays an extremely widespread sport with a various fan base unfold throughout the globe, FIFA will possible proceed to generate huge income from the World Cup and different main occasions.

FIFA’s future plans contain persevering with to help the event of the game via varied reinvestment initiatives and—notably in mild of the corruption scandal lately—creating its host bidding course of in a clear and goal manner, making certain adherence to compliance packages, and selling gender equality in soccer.

FIFA’s Bills

FIFA’s 2015-2018 bills of $5.37 billion could be broadly divided between the first classes of event-related bills ($2.56 billion), improvement and training initiatives ($1.67 billion), and FIFA governance and administration ($797 million).

Different notable expenditures from 2015-2018 are Soccer Governance, which incorporates authorized prices, data expertise, and constructing bills. This got here in for a complete of $124 million. Lastly, FIFA spent $211 million on Advertising and marketing & TV Broadcasting.

Key Challenges

There have been occasions when FIFA was charged with mismanagement and malpractice over the bidding course of for the World Cup. The president and different executives who had been named within the 2015 controversy had been arrested on fees of corruption.

Over its 118-year historical past, solely 9 folks have headed the group, which begs the query of transparency and good governance. Though the group led a highly-successful 2018 World Cup, questions on the opportunity of persevering with or future corruption stay.

Nonetheless, with its little-to-lose enterprise technique, FIFA is popping out spectacular earnings numbers.

How A lot Cash Does FIFA Earn?

Within the 2018 World Cup yr, FIFA generated revenues of $4.6 billion. Exterior a World Cup yr, its earnings are much less. In 2021, it introduced in $766 million.

Does FIFA Give Cash to Host International locations?

No. International locations bid to host the World Cup after which want to take a position taxpayer’s cash or funds secured via loans to make sure the best infrastructure is in place to host it.

How A lot Is the World Cup 2022 Value?

FIFA has allotted $440 million in prize cash, with the winner of the 2022 World Cup receiving a report $42 million.

Does FIFA Make Extra Cash Than the NFL?

That’s impossible. Whereas the World Cup might have extra viewers, it solely happens each 4 years. The NFL takes place yearly and occasions just like the Tremendous Bowl herald some huge cash. Apparently, the whole league generated an estimated $9.8 billion in the course of the 2021 season, which is much more than FIFA made.

The Backside Line

FIFA, the governing physique of soccer (or soccer because it’s recognized within the U.S.), has a terrific enterprise mannequin that is primarily primarily based across the World Cup—the most important sporting occasion within the globe. It rakes in billions of {dollars}, primarily from TV and advertising rights, with out having to spend money on or tackle the monetary threat of constructing infrastructure for competitions. And since it’s a nonprofit group, this cash is generally reinvested again into the sport.

Whereas not with out controversy, the advantages FIFA brings to the worldwide financial system and the game it governs are big.