Granada Enterprises is gearing up to sell the broadcast sponsorship for ITV’s coverage of Euro 2004 for an estimated £5m.
The company is talking to existing event sponsors, including Canon, Coca-Cola, Hyundai, JVC, Mastercard and McDonald’s. These are entitled to first refusal for the sponsorship of the broadcast coverage of the tournament.
If none of the event sponsors sign up to a package, Granada Enterprises will offer the Euro 2004 broadcast sponsorship rights on the open market.
For Euro 2000, Granada Enterprises signed up then event sponsor Carlsberg in a £5m deal. The price for Euro 2004 will depend on whether England manages to qualify for the tournament.
Recently, a number of UK broadcast sponsorships of sports tournaments have beeen awarded to non- event sponsors. But the difference in time zones may have deterred event sponsors from signing up to sponsor live coverage of last year’s World Cup (held in Japan) and this year’s Rugby World Cup (to be held in Australia). But as Euro 2004 is taking place in Portugal, the event will be broadcast at “reasonable times” and existing event sponsors could be interested if England qualifies.
In particular, Coca-Cola may be keen to take up the broadcast sponsorship as its sponsorship of ITV’s Premier League highlights package is due to finish at the end of this season, when the highlights rights pass to the BBC.