Sony Playstation is to be the ninth official sponsor of the Euro 2000 football championships taking place in the Netherlands and Belgium next summer.
Playstation marketing manager Darren Carter confirmed the deal, which will cost £6.25m, as the company revealed its plans to back the console with a £20m marketing spend this year.
The move means Playstation has stolen a march on rival Sega in the run-up to an intense battle between Sega’s new Dreamcast console and the Playstation 2, which launches next September.
Playstation will also be launching a new £6m TV advertising campaign this autumn and is in negotiations to extend its £10m deal to sponsor the UEFA Champions League, which expires this year.
Carter says: “We are in negotiations at the moment. Obviously with increasing popularity, costs have increased but we can certainly see the benefit of it.”
Playstation joins Hyundai, Philips, Carlsberg, Coca-Cola, MasterCard, Fujifilm, JVC and McDonald’s as official sponsors of Euro 2000. Sports marketing company ISL is understood to be looking for 12 main sponsors under instructions from tournament organisers UEFA.
However, many companies have baulked at the sponsorship costs of Euro 2000, which have almost doubled from the £3.6m asked for by UEFA last time. Out of the 11 main sponsors of Euro 96, Mars and General Motors have pulled out of sponsoring the Year 2000 tournament.