FIFA announced Tuesday the signing of a partnership with blockchain-based firm Algorand, the first new American partner of the men's World Cup in 11 years.
According to FIFA, the agreement also includes technical cooperation to assist FIFA in developing a digital assets plan. It could let FIFA market non-fungible tokens (NFTs) connected to soccer.
The cost of the World Cup endorsement, which covers North American and European licenses at a third-tier regional level, was not revealed. FIFA has set a revenue target of $7 billion for its four marketing cycles, which finishes in Qatar.
The agreement was unveiled at a business meeting in Los Angeles, where FIFA President Gianni Infantino was present.
FIFA is focusing its activities in North America in preparation for the larger 2026 World Cup, which will be organized by Canada, Mexico, and the United States.
With 48 teams playing instead of 32, and 80 events instead of 64, it should be a success.
Nonetheless, Algorand is the first new World Cup sponsor from the United States since 2011. Johnson & Johnson signed a contract exclusively for the 2014 season in Brazil, a major market.
FIFA has struggled to add American companies to long-term sponsors Coca-Cola, Visa, McDonald's, and Budweiser over the last decade, having been accused in a U.S. federal probe into international soccer fraud.
Until recently, practically all of FIFA's sponsors for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups had been signed with companies from the hosting countries - Russia and Qatar, respectively, as well as China.
In March, FIFA signed a 2022 tournament agreement with crypto.com, a Singapore-based blockchain company.
In a statement released by FIFA, Algorand creator Silvio Micali said his company may help alter the manner we all enjoy the game. The agreement also includes New Zealand and Australia hosting the 2023 Women's World Cup.
Around 2000 international organizations and decentralized finance programs are currently hosted on the Algorand blockchain.
It also aids businesses in a variety of areas, including music, gaming, banking, art, and sports. Algorand is also pursuing Web 3 digital services in order to promote growth, accountability, inclusion, and innovation.
"This relationship with FIFA, the most globally known and prestigious organization in sporting events, will illustrate the capability of the Algorand blockchain to shift the way we all enjoy the world's game," said Silvio Micali, creator of Algorand.
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