Coca-Cola VP For Sports Partnerships Rues Lack Of Indian Sponsor At FIFA

ICYMI, the FIFA World Cup (arguably the most popular sporting event, don’t @me) kicked off last week and the excitement is palpable. Coca-Cola, one of the longest running sponsors of the FIFA World Cup is looking to speed-up sponsorship in countries where football is not considered the main sport.

Speaking on the benefits of sports sponsorship to ET, Coca-Cola Global VP for sports partnerships Ricardo Ford said, “It is getting increasingly important to be at events such as FIFA; this is when people will pay attention to what you say. Live sports is one of the few things that people stop and pay attention to what you are saying. It gets you attention and of course we want people to have more beverages.”

“For us it’s important that every country gets involved closely with the FIFA World Cup,” Fort said. “The Indian economy is huge but there is no Indian sponsor in the FIFA World Cup,” he said.


“Today there are 32 countries playing here, but over 200 countries paying attention to what is happening here,” Fort said. “It is a process of how the evolution of sport is growing, how sport is being consumed.”

Coca-Cola has also increased association with countries not currently playing in the FIFA World Cup by sponsoring events like the FIFA U-17 World Cup, which India played host to.

“We have to do a lot more of that,” Fort said. “In Asia, there are countries like China, India or Australia, which consume the sport in a large way. In India, importance of football in cities like Kolkata and Goa is huge,” he said. “We can build relationships to sell more, can market our products accordingly, at grassroots, nationally, with individual stars. That drives our investment, and we get returns,” he added.