Castrol joins forces with FIFA World Cup until 2014
© AFP

With UEFA's EURO 2008 just completed, the focus of the football world will now shift to Africa for the next two years, culminating in the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, the first to be staged on African soil. FIFA is therefore proud to announce that, with Castrol, today (30 June) another major global company has joined up as a FIFA World Cup Sponsor until 2014. The partnership represents by far the largest sponsorship deal that the global lubricants company has entered into in its 100-year history - a further indication of the faith put into South Africa and Brazil as hosts of the next two FIFA World Cups™.

Today's partnership awards Castrol global rights for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ in South Africa, the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ in Brazil and the two FIFA Confederations Cups that fall within the 2008-2014 period. "With Castrol, we are delighted to welcome a committed football supporter into our global sponsorship family. The FIFA World Cup, with more than 26 billion TV viewers, attracts massive involvement from fans and non-fans alike, who are drawn to the drama and excitement that comes with top national-team football. With its new Performance Index, Castrol enhances the fans' experience with exclusive data on the players' speed, efficiency and performance in matches. The index was developed with renowned football experts such as Arsène Wenger, Ottmar Hitzfeld and Emilio Butragueño and it underlines Castrol's passion for the game," said FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter, before adding: "This agreement not only highlights FIFA's confidence in South Africa and Brazil as the host nations but also shows that the global business community believes in the incredibly positive impact the events will have."

Castrol's main sponsorship emphasis lays on the new Castrol Performance Index, with which it showcases the importance of the brand's core values of passion, technical progress and performance in an innovative and fascinating manner. "I chose to work with Castrol because its football sponsorship goes beyond simply ticket promotions and branding. The development and launch of a new performance index was something that really interested me and I was impressed by the way they used their experience in improving vehicle performance to champion the objective measurement of players and teams," commented Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger, Castrol's headline ambassador.

Castrol now has exclusive global marketing rights in the category ranging from lubricants, transmission fluids and anti-freeze to refined oil and gas products. "Our investment in football has proved to be a tremendous success and it has allowed Castrol to develop new opportunities in a way that has added value to our business partners, excited and rewarded fans and motivated our staff, " said Mike Johnson, Senior Vice-President for Lubricants.

FIFA's commercial hierarchy comprises six FIFA Partners, six to eight FIFA World Cup Sponsors and six National Supporters. The six members of the FIFA Partners category are adidas, Coca-Cola, Emirates Airline, Hyundai, Sony and Visa. Only two slots are left as second-tier FIFA World Cup Sponsors alongside Anheuser-Busch, Castrol, Continental, McDonald's, MTN and Satyam. FNB and Telkom have claimed two of the six National Supporter slots and negotiations are currently underway to confirm the remaining four.