For the first time in 60 years, Italy will not participate in the FIFA World Cup next summer in Russia after being eliminated yesterday by Sweden (1-0 on aggregate) in the two legged playoff.
It was just over two months ago that FIGC President Carlo Tavecchio stated “The idea of not qualifying for the 2018 World Cup would be an apocalypse.” The effect on the Italian economy will be notable, as the passion (and spending) of cheering for the Azzurri in bars, pizzerias and piazzas across Italy will be non-existant.
A World Cup without four-time champion Italy loses its appeal but the effects are also off the pitch financially for both the FIGC and FIFA.
Here’s a breakdown of the primary revenues for the Italian national team according to Corriere Della Sera:
- Marketing and Promotion: The FIGC has a contract as of November 2014 with advisor Infront Sports & Media for 14.25 million euros annually till 2018
- Technical sponsor: Contract with PUMA till 2022 that guarantees 18.7 million euros annually and is the master licensee for all things FIGC. The potential incremental revenue will be drastically reduced with loss of sales via merchandising and licensing.
- Television: State television network RAI pays 24.7 million euros annually to broadcast the national team matches, and the corresponding advertising revenues during the World Cup are exponential.
- World Cup participation: Qualification and participation in the group stage of the world cup guarantees participants 12 million euros, and can go up to 50 million for the winner.
Although the above is not totally lost, some of it is at risk while all the additional revenue is definitely lost.
As for FIFA, not having arguably one of the top international teams in terms of prestige at the tournament could represent a loss of 100 million euros in TV revenue according to ANSA news agency.
The rights to broadcast the games in Italy for next summer’s World Cup have not yet been assigned. With Italy out of the tournament the loss of viewers will reduce the advertising rates significantly.