MasterCard wants World Cup back

Rachel Dornhelm Nov 3, 2006
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MasterCard wants World Cup back

Rachel Dornhelm Nov 3, 2006
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SCOTT JAGOW: MasterCard and Visa might do battle over soccer’s World Cup. The clash of the plastic titans begins today in a New York courtroom. Rachel Dornhelm reports.


RACHEL DORNHELM: Visa isn’t everywhere it wants to be.

Today the company will try to get in on a breach of contract lawsuit MasterCard filed against soccer’s governing body FIFA.

MasterCard charges FIFA wrongly handed over sponsorship of the World Cup to Visa. And Visa seems to feel it can do a better job of defending its rights if it’s a party to the case.

Terry Lefton, editor of the Sports Business Journal, says the World Cup is the prize of all sports sponsorships.

TERRY LEFTON: It’s the biggest and the most expensive sports sponsorship on the planet, and it’s one of the few that’s global.

That means payment card companies get big play in developing markets like Latin America and Asia.

Some estimates put the costs of the sponsorship at $35 million a year, compared to $20 million for the Olympics.

Lefton says you just need to look at the court case to see this sponsorship’s value to the companies.

LEFTON: If you think of how much the lawyers are costing here. And the lawyers probably don’t take MasterCard or Visa.

I’m Rachel Dornhelm for Marketplace.

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