The World Cup is underway and brands are paying attention.
The soccer tournament has been big business for international brands — Adidas Chief Financial Officer Harm Ohlmeyer told investors last week that the company expects up to $417 million in sales from the World Cup.
Business stakes have also risen this year since the tournament is being held amid the holiday shopping season. The World Cup is traditionally held during the summer but was moved to November this year due to heat in Qatar, the tournament’s host country.
In addition, Qatar has been accused of bidding corruption, bribery, human rights abuses and exploitation of the primarily migrant laborers who built the seven soccer stadiums, creating a complex landscape for brands.
Last year, The Guardian reported 6,500 deaths from migrant workers in the country over the past 10 years, with many reported from the construction of stadiums and other infrastructure projects.
“A very …