ISL Worldwide and Team Marketing, the breakaway company founded by former ISL executives, are understood to be locked in a bidding battle to secure marketing rights for the 2004 Uefa European football championships.
Team handles both the TV and marketing rights for Uefa’s Champions’ League, and is now keen to expand its portfolio by seizing the contract for the 2004 championships, which are to be held in Portugal.
The Swiss sports marketing agency has already tried to snatch the broadcast rights from the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which has handled the TV contract since 1960.
Team bid against the EBU, Octagon Marketing and Kirch Media last year, but Uefa announced in December that it had retained the EBU in an estimated $415m (£277m) deal.
ISL will be fighting hard to retain the marketing rights – which include sponsorship and licensing deals – especially after the success of this year’s competition in the Netherlands and Belgium.
The agency spent nearly three years drawing up plans to lock out guerrilla marketing from the likes of Nike.
It set up “exclusion zones” around each stadium by buying all outdoor media sites for official sponsors, and also purchased broadcast sponsorship packages. ISL is believed to have handled Uefa business for more than 20 years.
No one was available for comment at Team or ISL as Marketing Week went to press.