Bunch, Benjamin
For my corporate sponsorship project I was assigned the global energy company Gazprom, who are an official partner of FIFA. Gazprom like I said is a global energy company that primarily focuses on geological exploration, production, storage, sales, etc. of gas and oil. They are also in the business of marketing heat and electric power. Gazprom is primarily a Russian gas supplier but they also supply foreign consumers. They are easily one of the largest oil companies in the world, holding the world’s largest natural gas reserves.

Gazprom has developed a very good reputation and image through their importance to the oil industry but also because of their social projects. They started the Gazprom for Children program which is their largest social project to date. The mission of the program is to help develop children and teenagers while also helping them realize their full potential. This social project has multiple subsidiaries, one being Football for Friendship which is an international children’s social project. The main component of the Football for Friendship is the international children’s forum, the first forum being held May 25, 2013 in London. The leaders of the first forum outlined the key principles of the project as being; traditions, peace, friendship, victory, health, equality, fair play, and commitment. Each country involved signed off on these principles and then sent to the FIFA President, UEFA President and President of the International Olympic Committee. With these projects it is easy to see how a positive image may be formed of Gazprom.

To be honest I do not have much knowledge of oil and gas companies at all but I can verify that Gazprom is one of the marketplace leaders with stats and accomplishments to back it up. Along with having very successful social projects and the world’s largest natural gas reserves, they have the longest gas transmission system in the world amassing 171 thousand kilometers (About Gazprom, 2018). On top of that their gas reserves comprise about 17 percent of the world’s gas reserves, and 72 percent of the Russian gas reserves (About Gazprom, 2018). They are Russia’s largest producer and exporter of liquefied natural gas, and are currently successfully implementing new ideas to try and expand their LNG sales. Gazprom ranks in the top four oil producers in all of Russian while simultaneously owning major power-generating assets that account for 17 percent of total installed capacity at the national level. The statistics are all there to show how high they rank in the current oil and gas market, leading the way in many categories.

Their main competition is the other top four gas companies in Russia. Rosneft has become their main rival especially in the LNG market. Rosneft Vice-Premier Wang Qishan has spoken with China and markets similar to China’s to try and reach an agreement on the rights and tax breaks for offshore exploitation. This would be a big move against Gazprom because they essentially had a monopoly on the LNG market before this move by Rosneft.

The target market that Gazprom tries to reach is Russia for one because they are already such a huge supplier there. Other than that they would be targeting markets similar to Russia’s as they try to further exploit their power in the LNG market.

Gazprom sponsors many sports teams almost all being professional soccer teams overseas. They are the sponsor and owner of the Russian club FC Zenit Saint Petersburg and the volleyball club VC Zenit-Kazan and Gazprom-Ugra Surgut. At the beginning of 2007 Gazprom became the official sponsor of the German club FC Schalke 04 for 25 million euros a year. In 2009 they extended that sponsorship another five years’ worth 150 million dollars. In 2010 they became the sponsor of the Serbian football club Red Star Belgrade. Also on top of that in 2010 Gazprom was a gold partner of the Russian cycling team, Team Katusha. In 2012 they became a sponsor for the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Super Cup, and this lasted until 2015. They became a global energy partner of the UEFA Champions League winning club Chelsea in 2012, which also ended in 2015. At the tail end of 2013 Gazprom inked a deal with FIFA making them official partners under contract until 2018, which includes the 2018 World Cup hosted in Russia. In 2016 they extended their sponsorship with FC Schalke until 2022 worth up to 150 million euros.
They use these sponsorships in a variety of ways, to garner more attention to their company and to support many local clubs. They also use sponsorships they currently have to attain new ones, FIFA for instance. The FIFA sponsorship was the big one because they became official partners for three years and will have their business plastered all over the World Cup, the biggest soccer event in the world. It also means a great deal because the World Cup is hosted in their home country.

I believe Gazprom to have a good portfolio but I believe that it isn’t necessarily well rounded. Many of their sponsorships are all with soccer teams overseas and it even took them many years to gain sponsorships not in Russia. Just because it is not well rounded does not mean I believe that it is bad by any means. Many of the clubs they have sponsored have seen great success in their history and while Gazprom was sponsoring them. They also have a deal currently with FIFA that is the biggest universal soccer name there is. These sponsorships have also helped them become a bigger face in Russia where they were established and are ran.
I believe these sponsorships to be a fine fit for Gazprom because of their social projects. They have social projects dedicated to helping children and teaching them soccer. They started the project Football for Friendship to help children develop team skills and soccer skills. So it seems to me that they are trying to sponsor things that they are passionate about as a company. They should obtain all of the sponsorships they currently have because discontinuing some of their local sponsorships could hurt their image in Russia.

A property that they are not a sponsor of is anything connected to the United States. If they like soccer so much they should expand into the U.S. and try and sponsor one of the American teams to make their presence more known in a country like the U.S. I had no clue previously who Gazprom was or what they did before this assignment. So to me that means their presence isn’t really felt worldwide but more regionally in Europe. Sponsoring a U.S. team would be a good investment that would be cheaper than in Europe because soccer isn’t as prevalent here as it is overseas.

Works Cited
“FIFA Partners – Gazprom.” FIFA.com, www.fifa.com/about fifa/marketing/sponsorship/partners/gazprom.html.

About Gazprom, www.gazprom.com/about/.

“Gazprom.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 7 Apr. 2018, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gazprom.

“World Cup at Center of Gazprom’s Sponsorship Empire.” Yahoo! Sports, Yahoo!, sports.yahoo.com/news/world-cup-center-gazproms-sponsorship-empire-084714493–sow.html.