It was announced on Tuesday that REWE was ending its cooperation with the DFB. the group put the contract on hold. According to CEO Lionel Souque, the reason for this was FIFA’s decision to ban the “One Love” armband during the World Cup in Qatar. The retail giant wants to clearly distance itself from the attitude of the world governing body FIFA and the statements made by President Gianni Infantino. Therefore one wants to renounce the advertising rights from the existing contract with the DFB.
Souque added: “We stand for diversity – and football is diversity too. FIFA’s scandalous stance is totally unacceptable to me as the CEO of a diverse company and as a football fan.”
In an interview with “Spiegel”, Markus Voeth from the University of Hohenheim criticized this decision. The marketing expert described the decision as “not wise”. “It’s a political statement, but also a strategic response,” said Voeth. As the marketing expert goes on to explain, REWE should not have punished the German Football Association for FIFA’s decision: “That seems a bit far-fetched and transparent to anyone who is halfway interested.”
It is clear to the professor that the retail giant had decided to “break away” in the heated advertising campaign. According to Voeth, large advertising campaigns would not be successful anyway due to the low level of interest in sport in Germany. The marketing expert also emphasized that Rewe was only “jumping away from headwinds” and only wanted to achieve “attention and brand profiling”.
One thing is clear for Voeth: Acting as a sponsor during the World Cup is generally a big risk. Nevertheless, it is not advisable for corporations to withdraw from the World Cup in Qatar. “I would advise any sponsor who previously felt they had to back the issue to keep their feet still. No matter what you do now, the consequences are negative,” Voeth states.