Five things PR pros need to know on Thursday morning, 5.28.2015

Sponsors tell FIFA to get its act together; Cavs to face Warriors in NBA Finals; Cision's Granat sounds off; Pataki, Santorum launch White House bids.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter
FIFA president Sepp Blatter

1. FIFA sponsors are not happy about the arrests of top soccer officials and investigations into the organization taking place in two countries. Visa has taken the strongest stance, saying it will reconsider its sponsorship of the World Cup. One sports marketing executive says brands could sue the organization over wasted money spent on the quadrennial event.

Embattled FIFA president Sepp Blatter, urged to quit by the UK’s sports minister over the corruption scandal, cancelled a public-speaking engagement on Thursday morning and chaired an emergency meeting instead. Men in Blazers co-host Roger Bennett told NBC News that Blatter runs FIFA "like a Chicago mayor in the 1960s."

Russian President Vladimir Putin added his voice to the mix this morning, saying the US is meddling in FIFA’s affairs so it can steal the 2018 World Cup from his country. US law-enforcement authorities, meanwhile, timed the indictments for maximum effect as FIFA was preparing to hold its international congress.

2. The NBA Finals is set. The series will pit two of the league’s most marketable teams in the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors, and players in Nike-backed LeBron James and Stephen Curry, who endorses sneakers from UnderArmour.

Curry again brought his adorable two-year-old daughter along for a show-stealing post-game press conference on Wednesday night after his team beat the Houston Rockets to advance to the finals.


3. Cision CEO Peter Granat talked branded content and blogger disclosures with the Chicago Tribune, adding that he expects his company’s acquisition of Gorkana, now held up by UK regulators, to close next month.

4. Former New York Governor George Pataki started his bid for the Republican nomination on Thursday morning with a three-and-a-half-minute video. Rick Santorum launched his presidential campaign in Pennsylvania on Wednesday afternoon, taking digs at Hillary Clinton both in person and with his website. Observers believe Jeb Bush’s decision to serve on the boards of more than a dozen companies since his last term as Florida’s governor could come back to haunt him.


5. YouTube superstar Bethany Mota said she prioritizes what her viewers want when creating beauty and fashion videos in a conversation with The Wall Street Journal. The 19-year-old influencer also recalls being a nervous wreck before interviewing President Obama in the White House. 

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