The State of Qatar has spent $220 billion to build world-class infrastructure, including new roads, public transport, hotels and sports facilities. The matches will take place in eight high-tech stadiums, ensuring maximum comfort for spectators.
1.5 million supporters are expected in Qatar for this historic event, giving a boost to the tourism sector and the hotel and restaurant industry. Qatar expects the World Cup to add $20 billion to its economy in the short term, and the infrastructure benefits are expected to last for decades.
“The last 12 years have been a very busy time for economic development, which has really been boosted and accelerated by the World Cup, explains Nasser Al Khater, General Manager of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. It’s all part of a big development plan initiated in 2008, and what we’re looking at is really the impact of that plan over the next 20 years.”
“I have never seen a host ready so far in advance, says FIFA President Gianni Infantino. All stages are complete. The infrastructure in terms of hotels and roads is being completed. Qatar is therefore ready. FIFA is ready, the world is ready. And after complicated times with pandemics and such, we really need to come together.”
First FIFA World Cup in the Middle East
Qatar 2022 will make history by bringing the World Cup to the Middle East for the first time. All eyes will be on Qatar and the wider region.
“In my opinion, the success of the World Cup will demonstrate that the sports industry in Qatar is a class apart, said Sheikha Al-Anoud bint Mana Al Hajri, Deputy Managing Director and Business Director of the Qatar Financial Centre. This is a unique opportunity to place yourself on the international sports map or on the international trade and economic map. The World Cup is just a small reflection of a massive effort. And I am personally convinced that what they will see is a country that is rapidly transforming into a world capital of sustainable development. Companies that want to change the world will recognize that this is the place where they will be best able to do so.”
SponixTech, the rising startup
Qatar’s financial commitments in building an infrastructure capable of hosting a major event like the FIFA World Cup has given a boost to many businesses, especially in the area of sports technology.
One of them is SponixTech, a Qatar-based company that provides immersive replay technology and virtual ads during live matches. In just two years, it has linked up with the FIFA Arab Cup and the Premier League.
SponixTech wants to be present wherever there is sport. But beyond this year’s stakes, their goal is to become one of the world’s leading sports advertising companies, considering deals with other major competitions, including tennis tournaments and the NBA.
The FIFA World Cup in numbers
FIFA earned $5.4 billion in revenue from the 2018 World Cup. That’s a jump of 16% from its revenue from the 2014 edition. But as a non-profit organization, FIFA reinvests most of its earnings into football development. In 2018, $4.3 billion was directly invested in football programs.
FIFA generated more than $3 billion in TV rights revenue from the previous World Cup. The popularity of football around the world has fueled fierce competition among global broadcasters. FOX has won a bidding war with rival ESPN, securing a $400 million deal with FIFA for TV rights up to this year’s World Cup.
All spending on advertising and marketing around the World Cup will hit a record high this year. Experts say Qatar 2022 has the potential to deliver unique brand experiences.