Credit Suisse, Migros… The big doubt of the traditional sponsors of the World Cup

“Even Credit Suisse does not advertise the World Cup”, title this Sunday the SonntagsZeitung. The main sponsor of the national team for thirty years is abandoning its usual marketing campaign linked to the most watched sporting event in the world. And she is not the only one to do so, notes the Sunday newspaper.

Four years ago, the number two Swiss banker had broadcast television spots before each match of the Swiss team, organized events for its customers and made films in which Granit Xhaka and Breel Embolo learned Russian. Not this year.

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When Switzerland meet Ghana on November 24, Credit Suisse will not appear on television with a special spot. Even if the sovereign wealth fund of Qatar holds 5% of its capital.

“We will focus this year on the national women’s football team, we have already carried out a great campaign this summer around the European Women’s Championship”, indicates to the Time a Credit Suisse spokesperson.

The bank offers a “Credit Suisse LGBT Equality Index”, an index that reflects the performance of the shares of companies with policies favorable to LGBT communities. It supports Zurich Pride, the biggest LGBTQI+ event in Switzerland. But a Qatari ambassador said again this week on television that being gay is “mental damage”.

“Significantly lower” expenses

What also cool the ardor of Coca-Cola, estimates the German-speaking title. The sugary drinks giant, a partner of FIFA since 1974, often stages itself within the LGBTQI+ community. The group sponsors the Swiss Diversity Awards. He campaigned in rainbow colors ahead of a 2020 vote on an anti-racism standard and is also a top backer of Zurich Pride.

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In Switzerland, advertising expenditure for the World Cup is “significantly lower” than for previous editions, according to Moritz Schneider, director of the Mediaschneider agency. But it would be above all a question of timing: Black Friday and the pre-Christmas deals that fall during the World Cup are favored by advertisers. Inflation and the energy crisis would also slow down investments. Just like the environmental question, while the air conditioning of the stadiums promises to be energy-intensive.

“Retention” at Coop

“Due to the controversial discussions around this World Cup, we behave with more restraint than in other years,” said a Coop spokesperson. “Major football tournaments have a financial impact above all if they are associated with good weather due to grilled meat and drinks,” they say at Migros.

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Sponsors are loyal to the World Cup. Budweiser has launched a record offensive despite restrictions on the sale of alcohol in Qatar. That of 2022 will even be “the largest global campaign to date”, according to the American beer giant.

Criticisms of Qatar range from FIFA’s controversial awarding of the tournament to working conditions on construction sites to repression of social minorities and air conditioning in stadiums.

Read also: Ten European countries, including Switzerland, sign their refusal to obey FIFA

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