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Jason Bent


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Guest Jeffery S.

It used to be that national teams only had their government funding, association-related funding (like youth fees to the CSA in Candada) and the gate from games to look at. Canada does worse at this as we play too little at home, so we rely overly on direct funding and the masses playing at a kid level.

But now national teams are finding strong sponsors coming in, and there is a marketing factor they have picked up on after looking at the well-marketed clubs. Since a national team has the advantage to be the only side in a country in the given sport to sponsor (unlike, for example, a bunch of top-flight Czech clubs all fighting for the sponsors in their land) they have great opportunities for new revenue. The lure of qualifying for the World Cup is as strong a draw, creating a speculative climate for sponsors, much in the same way a sponsor could look at a good bet for promotion into top flight from a lower division, or a modest team challenging to appear in UEFA or even Champions (Artmedia Bratislava, Villareal) and think that a sponsorship deal could pan out well if results go along.

So this is where the clubs have a stronger argument for payment or compensation in some form or another than say 10 years ago, when national team marketing was still relatively weak and funding sources were more limited. Add to this the same marketing capacity of FIFA itself, which is enormous, and it is logical that the clubs will make a better case now, simply on the basis of what national teams and FIFA could reasonably respond with.

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