Fifa vows to stop unofficial World Cup sponsorship

Brand owners are being warned that they may have to pull marketing campaigns planned for launch ahead of this summer’s football World Cup, following a raft of trademark legislation by Fifa.

Football’s global governing body has vowed to clamp down on companies that are not on its roster of 15 headline sponsors if they explicitly refer to newly registered terms, including “World Cup” and “Germany 2006”, in consumer messages.

The Institute of Sales Promotion has been contacted by Fifa regarding the issue. ISP director general Edwin Mutton is urging non-sponsors to seek legal advice before launching promotions.

He says: “The World Cup rules are now getting as strict as the Olympics. If smaller brands are thinking of launching any promotions around the tournament, they need to be very careful to take legal advice.

“We’re taking legal advice on the issue. But by the time it goes through the system it would probably be too late to make a difference for this year’s event.”

Meanwhile, Umbro has released details of its World Cup marketing activity. Despite being a Football Association sponsor, the sportswear giant is still subject to the same restrictions as other non-World Cup partners.

It is planning to launch a photography book and exhibition called One Love, featuring soccer images from around the world, and will distribute 15,000 branded footballs in town centres. RPM is handling the activity.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and inspiration that will help you develop as a marketer and leader.

Register and receive the best content from the only title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work, so we can make Marketing Week more relevant to you.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team and columnists will ask the biggest questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we will be your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Dedicated to developing your skills and helping you achieve marketing excellence. Find guidance on leadership, professional development and the latest industry jobs.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here