NEW YORK: With a new FIFA president in place and the United States pressing on with its corruption investigations, major sponsors have now signed up as official partners of the Copa America Centenario.
The tournament, to mark the 100th anniversary of the South American Championship, is being staged in the US in a joint venture by scandal-hit regional bodies CONMEBOL and CONCACAF.
The central and north American adopted major structural reforms at its congress in Zurich last week.
Now Coca-Cola, Sprint and State Farm have joined Nike as the first four official partners of the tournament. Sponsors will all receive extensive signage at matches, and the rights to use Copa América imagery in their marketing.
Commercial rights for the Centenario are being handled by Soccer United Marketing (SUM), the marketing arm of Major League Soccer (MLS).
Organisers hope that the tournament’s attraction will be high owing to the presence of Barcelona’s MSN trio, Brazil’s Neymar, Argentina’s Lionel Messi and Uruguay’s Luis Suárez.
However Neymar’s presence remains in question since he is also intent on playing for Brazil at the Rio Olympic Games and the Spanish club do not want him playing both close-season events.