Brazil has been preparing for the event for years, and now the world is ready for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Thirty-two national teams will compete for the most coveted prize in soccer. The returning 2010 champion, Spain, is joined by teams from the United States, Uruguay, Colombia, Argentina, Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Greece, Switzerland, France, and England, among others. Spain, Argentina, Brazil, and Germany are among the favorites to win the tournament.
Sixty-four matches are to be played across 12 cities, with the final championship match held in front of over 76,000 spectators at Estádio do Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro. FIFA forecasts a total of 3,334,524 tickets for the tournament.
Along with the world’s best football (soccer) players, the tournament is expected to bring record revenues for FIFA. Addidas, Coca-Cola, Emirates, Hyundai, Sony, and Visa all reportedly pay around US$25 million to US$50 million per year for the status of major-partner. Beyond that, World Cup sponsors such as Budweiser, McDonalds, and Castrol pay around US$10 million to US$ 25 million. In 2013, FIFA earned US$404 million from marketing rights for this year’s World Cup. It is expected that in total, the 2104 World Cup will bring US$4 billion in revenue for FIFA—66% more than it earned in 2010.
Apart from the Olympics, the World Cup earns more revenue than any other sport tournament. In 2010, more than 3.2 billion people tuned in on television to watch at some point during the tournament.