NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The developing soccer corruption scandal has done more than put top FIFA officials in hot water. It has left some of the world's biggest brand names in a bind over their continued sponsorship of the organization.

The latest is the resignation of FIFA president Sepp Blatter, 79, who was elected to an unprecedented fifth term just last week. In a statement today, Blatter said, "I am very much linked to FIFA and its interests. Those interests are dear to me and this is why I am taking this decision."

A special election will be held to choose his successor. Commentators on ESPN have speculated that pressure from FIFA sponsors over the weekend may have forced Blatter out. The Swiss attorney general has already said that Blatter is not under investigation by Swiss authorities. According to ESPN reporter Doug McIntyre, sources have told ABC News that Blatter was under investigation by the FBI. Blatter and FIFA are based in Switzerland.

Last Wednesday, the U.S. Justice Department unsealed a 47-count indictment charging 14 people, including officials of the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA), with racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering. The indictment alleges bribes date back to 1991 and have accumulated to more than $150 million.

"It spans at least two generations of soccer officials who, as alleged, have abused their positions of trust to acquire millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks," said Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

The scandal has echoed internationally, and it has had an impact on the corporate world as well. Sponsors are in a pinch about what steps to take next, and one brand may even be implicated in some of the wrongdoing.

According to multiple reports, FIFA raked in $5.7 billion between 2011 and 2014 (including the 2012 World Cup in Brazil). Some $1.6 billion of that came from sponsors and commercial partners.

Here's a look at which brands, banks and companies are tied to the FIFA scandal and what they're saying and doing about it.


Visa (V) is one of the first FIFA sponsors to speak out regarding the indictments, and the credit card giant isn't pulling any punches.

"Our disappointment and concern with FIFA in light of today's developments is profound," representatives wrote in a statement released last Wednesday. "As a sponsor, we expect FIFA to take swift and immediate steps to address these issues within its organization."

The company also said that if FIFA should fail to make changes, it has informed the sporting organization that it will "reassess" its sponsorship.

Visa became a FIFA sponsor in 2007, and its estimated $32 million a year deal is set to extend until 2022 -- unless, of course, it decides to pull out. In 2015, Visa is set to be a part of five FIFA events.


One of FIFA's longest-standing corporate sponsors, Coca-Cola (KO) has had a formal association with the organization since 1974 and has been an official sponsor of the FIFA World Cup since 1978. According to the FIFA website, it has had stadium advertising at every World Cup since 1950. Its latest estimated $32 million a year sponsorship deal, renewed in 2005, is set to run through 2022.

Coca-Cola issued a statement addressing the FIFA investigation on Wednesday.

"This lengthy controversy has tarnished the mission and ideals of the FIFA World Cup and we have repeatedly expressed our concerns about these serious allegations. We expect FIFA to continue to address these issues thoroughly. FIFA has stated that it is responding to all requests for information and we are confident it will continue to cooperate fully with the authorities," it said.

Notably, Wednesday's comments come just a week after Coca-Cola released a separate statement regarding human rights and labor issues in Qatar, which is set to host the World Cup in 2022. Coca-Cola said that "FIFA is working with Qatari authorities to address questions regarding specific labor and human rights issues" and that it expects the organization to "take these matters seriously and to work toward further progress."


Hyundai's relationship with FIFA dates back to 1999, when it signed an agreement to sponsor 13 competitions. In 2010, Hyundia-Kia Motors extended its relationship through 2022 in a sponsorship agreement that includes comprehensive rights for all FIFA competitions.

The company, like Visa and Coca-Cola, has put out a public reaction to the allegations.

"As a company that places the highest priority on ethical standards and transparency, Kia Motors is extremely concerned about the legal proceedings being taken against certain FIFA executives and will continue to monitor this situation closely," a Kia spokesperson said in a statement.

The company spends an estimated $32 million with FIFA, according to data from sponsorship research and consulting firm IEG.


According to the FIFA website, its relationship with Adidas (ADDDF) dates back more than 40 years, and since 1970, the company has supplied the official match ball for all World Cup games. Moreover, the company's ties to soccer stretch far beyond FIFA and extend to specific clubs and players as well. It has agreements with leading teams like Real Madrid and Chelsea as well as soccer superstars Lionel Messi and David Beckham.

Given its close ties to the soccer world, it would have been virtually impossible for Adidas to remain silent on this week's allegations. It addressed the issue in email to Business Insider.

"The Adidas Group is fully committed to creating a culture that promotes the highest standards of ethics and compliance, and we expect the same from our partners. Following today's news, we can therefore only encourage FIFA to continue to establish and follow transparent compliance standards in everything they do," a representative wrote. "Adidas is the world's leading football brand and we will continue to support football on all levels."

The company is one of FIFA's bigger sponsors, spending an estimated $32 million a year with the organization.


Russian energy company Gazprom (OGZPY) became an official partner of FIFA in 2013 and will hold the status for all competitions from 2015 through 2018, including the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. Gazprom is also tied to numerous soccer clubs, including the British Premier League's Chelsea, Russia's Zenit FC and Serbian Crvena Zvezda.

Thus far, Gazprom has reacted a bit differently than other FIFA sponsors and official partners and essentially shrugged it off.

"Of course Gazprom's sponsorship agreement is not affected by the situation around FIFA," a company spokesperson told CNN. "How can this situation affect it? It simply can't. It's unrelated."


A sponsor since 1994, McDonald's (MCD) has forked over what CNN estimates to be $19 million a year for its sponsorship deal with FIFA -- in line with what Coca-Cola and Budweiser have likely paid, and well under the $32 million spent annually by Adidas and Visa.

And like its fellow high-paying FIFA sponsors, McDonald's isn't thrilled with the organization right now.

"McDonald's takes matters of ethics and corruption very seriously and the news from the U.S. department of justice is extremely concerning," the company said in a statement. "We are in contact with FIFA on this matter. We will continue to monitor the situation very closely."


Budweiser became a World Cup sponsor in the 1986 contest in Mexico. Its parent company, Anheuser-Busch Inbev (BUD), has extended local sponsorship rights to brands in select soccer markets, including Quilmes in Argentina and Hasseroder in Germany. It spends an estimated $19 million a year with the organization.

Budweiser representatives said in a statement regarding FIFA corruption charges that it expects all of its partners to maintain "strong ethical standards" and operate with transparency. "We continue to closely monitor the situation through ongoing communications with FIFA," representatives said.

This isn't the first time Anheuser-Busch has had to reevaluate its sponsorship deals in recent months. In September 2014, it issued a statement regarding its relationship with the NFL in response to growing concerns over the league's handling of domestic violence and the actions of its players off the field.

"We are disappointed and increasingly concerned by the recent incidents that have overshadowed this NFL season. We are not yet satisfied with the league's handling of behaviors that so clearly go against our own company culture and moral code. We have shared our concerns and expectations with the league," the company said at the time.


While most companies are looking at the FIFA scandal from the outside, Nike (NKE) may be right in the thick of things. A number of outlets, including Bloomberg, have suggested that an unidentified sportswear company accused of bribing a Brazilian soccer official in the Justice Department indictment is, in fact, Nike.

The charges refer to a U.S. company that signed a partnership with the Brazilian federation in 1996 -- the same year Nike announced a deal to sponsor Brazil's national team's uniforms.

Thus far, Nike has not had much to say regarding allegations that it may be the unidentified offender.

"Nike believes in ethical and fair play in both business and sport and strongly opposes any form of manipulation or bribery," it said an an email statement. "We have been cooperating, and will continue to cooperate, with the authorities."

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.

More from Opinion

Throwback Thursday: Intel Edition

Throwback Thursday: Intel Edition

Intel's Next CEO Should Try Harder to Protect Its Flanks Against AMD and Others

Intel's Next CEO Should Try Harder to Protect Its Flanks Against AMD and Others

3 Warren Buffett Stock Picks That Could Be Perfect for Your Retirement Portfolio

3 Warren Buffett Stock Picks That Could Be Perfect for Your Retirement Portfolio

Wednesday Wrap-Up: GE and Facebook

Wednesday Wrap-Up: GE and Facebook

PayPal Strikes Again, Facebook, and AT&T -- 3 Tech Stories You Must Know

PayPal Strikes Again, Facebook, and AT&T -- 3 Tech Stories You Must Know