Fifa’s brand perception plummets among fans in wake of corruption scandal

Fifa has suffered from the claims of corruption over its choice of Qatar for the 2022 World Cup as its ‘Brand Perception’ and ‘Buzz’ values among fans plummeted in wake of the PR disaster.

The research by SMG Insight and YouGov analysed the public perception of the Fifa World Cup and the Commonwealth Games based on the key metrics of ‘Buzz’ and ‘Impression’ over the past two weeks.

It found that public perception of the Commonwealth Games was significantly higher than that of the Fifa World Cup, with both ‘Buzz’ and ‘Impression’ having steadily increased in the build up to the start of the Games on 23 July.

While considerably lower, the ‘Buzz’ and ‘Impression’ of Fifa World Cup had been steady before plummeting when the allegations of corruption first made headlines.

The Sunday Times alleged that Qatar's former Fifa vice president, Mohamed Bin Hammam, paid officials £3m to win support to host the World Cup in Qatar. Sponsors of the tournament including Sony, have called for an investigation to the claims, which Fifa "strongly denies".

Out of the total 1177 respondents to the YouGov poll, a greater proportion had heard negative rather than positive stories during the last two weeks.

“It is interesting to see how trends in buzz and impression of the Fifa World Cup and Commonwealth Games differ so significantly,” commented Frank Saez, SMG Insight’s managing director. “The corruption allegations concerning Fifa have clearly taken their toll on the public’s perception of the tournament and sponsors will be concerned about how this negativity could impact their brands. Fifa will need to work hard to rebuild their trust.’’

Buzz is the net difference between the amount of respondents hearing positive news and those hearing negative news in the previous two weeks while ‘Impression’ is the net difference between the amount of respondents having a positive impression and those having a negative impression in the previous two weeks.

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