Sony Ericsson is thought to be close to sealing a sponsorship deal with the UEFA Champions League, marking its first move into football.
The handset manufacturer is understood to have been in talks with TEAM, UEFA’s rights-selling agency, about becoming the official mobile partner of the Champions League. Insiders say that this would only be the first step and that the company may want to increase its involvement and become a top-tier sponsor in future.
The main Sony brand and Sony PlayStation are already two of the six headline sponsors of the tournament, and it is unlikely that UEFA would be keen to have three Sony brands as top-tier partners. But Sony Ericsson could look to increase its involvement, should one of the other two brands decide to end their involvement with the Champions League.
The other headline sponsors of the UEFA Champions League are Vodafone, Heineken, Mastercard and Ford. It is thought that their current deals expire in 2009.
Sony Ericsson was looking to broaden its sponsorship portfolio, which is currently based around its £50m deal with the women’s tennis tour. The company is looking to appoint a sports marketing agency to its roster to work on the new push (MW last week).