The Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) appears likely to host the
2034 FIFA World Cup after the only likely alternative, Australia, declined to bid. This will be the second time that the Middle East has hosted the tournament, following last year’s 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
This news will have a big impact on both the commercial branding landscape of football and the soft power of Saudi Arabia as a nation. Qatar entered the top 25 of the Global Soft Power Index this year for the first time after it hosted the World Cup last year.
The world’s renowned brand valuation consultancy, Brand Finance, is providing two leading expert analysts, Hugo Hensley and Konrad Jagodzinski to elucidate on these complementary issues.
“Saudi Arabia’s hosting of the 2034 World Cup is a significant event
for both the country and the sport of football. It is an opportunity for
Saudi Arabia to showcase its culture and hospitality to the world, and
to promote itself as a destination for business and tourism,” Hensley, Head of Sport Services at Brand Finance said.
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“For brands, the World Cup is a major sponsorship opportunity. However,
it is important to measure the brand value impacts of sponsorship
carefully to ensure that it is a worthwhile investment. Brands need to
do this by tracking their brand value over time and measuring the impact
of specific marketing activities, such as sponsorship.”
Jagodzinski, Place Branding Director at Brand Finance added: “The hosting of the 2034 World Cup by Saudi Arabia is a significant opportunity for the country to enhance its soft power. The tournament will provide a platform for Saudi Arabia to showcase its culture and hospitality to the world and to position itself as a destination for business and tourism.
“Qatar enjoyed a significant and immediate improvement to its Global
Soft Power Index ranking in connection with the World Cup, entering the
world’s top 25 for the first time. Brand Finance’s research conducted in the autumn of 2022 found that thanks to the media and fan interest in the run-up to the event, Qatar improved significantly on the global rankings of familiarity, reputation, influence, culture, and heritage, as well as specifically for being a leader in sport and offering an appealing lifestyle. The research we are conducting now will tell us of the legacy of the event. The 2034 World Cup will be an opportunity for Saudi Arabia to similarly tell its story to the world and to shape its own narrative.”
The SAFF has stated that it will invest heavily in infrastructure and facilities to prepare for the World Cup. The country plans to build new stadiums and renovate existing ones, as well as improve its transportation and accommodation networks.