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Saudi Arabia set to host 2034 World Cup

03 November 2023

English-speaking experts available for soft power and sports branding analysis

View the Brand Finance Football 50 2023 report at

View the full Brand Finance Global Soft Power Index at

The Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) appears likely to host the 2034 FIFA World Cup after the only likely alternative, Australia, declined to bid. This will be the second time that the Middle East has hosted the tournament, following last year’s 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

This news will have a big impact on both the commercial branding landscape of football and the soft power of Saudi Arabia as a nation. Qatar entered the top 25 of the Global Soft Power Index this year for the first time after it hosted the World Cup last year.

English-speaking experts available for soft power and sports branding analysis

Brand Finance can provide two leading expert analysts for media comment and interview on these two complementary issues:

 Hugo Hensley, Head of Sport Services at Brand Finance

 Konrad Jagodzinski, Place Branding Director at Brand Finance

Hugo Hensley said:

"Saudi Arabia's hosting of the 2034 World Cup is a significant event for both the country and the sport of football. It is an opportunity for Saudi Arabia to showcase its culture and hospitality to the world, and to promote itself as a destination for business and tourism.

"For brands, the World Cup is a major sponsorship opportunity. However, it is important to measure the brand value impacts of sponsorship carefully to ensure that it is a worthwhile investment. Brands need to do this by tracking their brand value over time and measuring the impact of specific marketing activities, such as sponsorship."

Konrad Jagodzinski said:

"The hosting of the 2034 World Cup by Saudi Arabia is a significant opportunity for the country to enhance its soft power. The tournament will provide a platform for Saudi Arabia to showcase its culture and hospitality to the world, and to position itself as a destination for business and tourism.

“Qatar enjoyed a significant and immediate improvement to its Global Soft Power Index ranking in connection with the World Cup, entering the world’s top 25 for the first time. Brand Finance’s research conducted in the autumn of 2022 found that thanks to the media and fan interest in the run-up to the event, Qatar improved significantly on the global rankings of familiarity, reputation, influence, culture & heritage, as well as specifically for being a leader in sport and offering an appealing lifestyle. The research we are conducting now will tell us of the legacy of the event. The 2034 World Cup will be an opportunity for Saudi Arabia to similarly tell its story to the world and to shape its own narrative."

The SAFF has stated that it will invest heavily in infrastructure and facilities to prepare for the World Cup. The country plans to build new stadiums and renovate existing ones, as well as improve its transportation and accommodation networks.

View the Brand Finance Football 50 2023 report at

View the full Brand Finance Global Soft Power Index at


Media Contacts

Penny Erricker
Communications Executive
Brand Finance

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Brand Finance also operates the Global Brand Equity Monitor, conducting original market research annually on over 5,000 brands, surveying more than 150,000 respondents across 38 countries and 31 industry sectors. Combining perceptual data from the Global Brand Equity Monitor with data from its valuation database enables Brand Finance to arm brand leaders with the data and analytics they need to enhance brand and business value.

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Each brand is assigned a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score out of 100, which feeds into the brand value calculation. Based on the score, each brand is assigned a corresponding Brand Rating up to AAA+ in a format similar to a credit rating.

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The steps in this process are as follows:

1 Calculate brand strength using a balanced scorecard of metrics assessing Marketing Investment, Stakeholder Equity, and Business Performance. Brand strength is expressed as a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score on a scale of 0 to 100.

2 Determine royalty range for each industry, reflecting the importance of brand to purchasing decisions. In luxury, the maximum percentage is high, while in extractive industry, where goods are often commoditised, it is lower. This is done by reviewing comparable licensing agreements sourced from Brand Finance’s extensive database.

3 Calculate royalty rate. The BSI score is applied to the royalty range to arrive at a royalty rate. For example, if the royalty range in a sector is 0-5% and a brand has a BSI score of 80 out of 100, then an appropriate royalty rate for the use of this brand in the given sector will be 4%.

4 Determine brand-specific revenues by estimating a proportion of parent company revenues attributable to a brand.

5 Determine forecast revenues using a function of historic revenues, equity analyst forecasts, and economic growth rates.

6 Apply the royalty rate to the forecast revenues to derive brand revenues.

7 Discount post-tax brand revenues to a net present value which equals the brand value.


Brand Finance has produced this study with an independent and unbiased analysis. The values derived and opinions presented in this study are based on publicly available information and certain assumptions that Brand Finance used where such data was deficient or unclear. Brand Finance accepts no responsibility and will not be liable in the event that the publicly available information relied upon is subsequently found to be inaccurate. The opinions and financial analysis expressed in the study are not to be construed as providing investment or business advice. Brand Finance does not intend the study to be relied upon for any reason and excludes all liability to any body, government, or organisation.

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