FIFA is proud to announce that Sony Corporation has signed up as a FIFA Partner in the innovative and wide-ranging product category "Digital Life" from 2007 to 2014 in one of the biggest sponsorship deals in the history of sport to date, consisting of a record cash payment of USD 305 million plus support for various FIFA events. Simultaneously, this marks the first time that Sony Corporation has entered into a global sponsorship deal of this scale.

This long-term partnership agreement with Sony, the Tokyo-based electronics, entertainment and technology group employing over 160,000 people worldwide, represents a groundbreaking sports marketing deal in FIFA's more than 100-year existence. The new Partnership, blessed by FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter and Sony Chairman and Group CEO Nobuyuki Idei at a private ceremony in Tokyo on 4 April, further endorses the importance of the world football governing body's assets as the premier marketing platform.

"I am delighted and very proud that Sony has chosen FIFA and football for this momentous deal which creates a true partnership with many opportunities for taking the relationship far beyond a classical sponsorship," said FIFA President Blatter. "Sony, like FIFA, enjoys tremendous brand awareness and is therefore another perfect partner to support us in our mission to develop and broaden the worldwide appeal of football even further."

"This partnership is an ideal one as it benefits both sides from the point of view of branding," said Sony Group CEO Idei. "FIFA has a spectacular reach around the world through the universal language of football and it is this unique attribute that convinced us to commit to this global sponsorship deal. This is an ideal opportunity for us to leverage the powerful assets of the Sony Group in electronics, entertainment and technology."

Sony is the third company after adidas and Hyundai to join FIFA's new class of sponsorship that combines the highest level of affiliation to FIFA with a long-term commitment through to 2014. As one of six FIFA Partners, Sony will enjoy core sponsorship rights to all FIFA competitions including the flagship FIFA World Cup™ in 2010 and 2014, as well as special events and development initiatives.

Sony will operate in the product area of "Digital Life" which spans all key technologies in consumer electronics, including audiovisual devices, game consoles and personal computers. Combining several traditional product categories into one digital life super-category makes the agreement FIFA's largest ever and represents a milestone in the development of sports sponsoring.

The category allows Sony to capitalise on the trend towards convergence of digital devices. This innovative and exciting sponsorship may also lead to FIFA and Sony collaborating on projects that enhance Sony's content businesses, such as music and television properties. Sony will also advise FIFA in the technical development of TV and broadcast equipment for future FIFA Events.