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FIFA explores VAR sponsorship

Breaks carry untapped sponsorship potential of up to £100 million

FIFA is considering selling sponsorship rights for ‘video assistant referee’ (VAR) breaks.

Various companies are said to have approached the organisation in the hope of carrying their branding during VAR intermissions, reportedly resulting in untapped sponsorship potential of up to £100 million.

VAR breaks occur as play is stopped to allow referees to review footage of contested moments, which came to approximately 27 minutes of screen time during the 2018 World Cup.

Independent sports marketing adviser Tim Crow told the Financial Times: “I think it is the biggest sponsorship asset that football has ever created.

“Most other advertising is on the side, but VAR is in the middle of the game, part of the game. For a sponsor, that is a dream come true. There is no question that if brands had the opportunity to sponsor around VAR they would.”

FIFA has also said that its current priority is to perfect the controversial technology, viewed by many fans as potential for regular disruption to games.