UEFA raises stakes for Champions

European Football’s governing body UEFA is to cut the number of sponsors and more than double the price of sponsorship rights for the Champions’ League from next year.

Team, the sports marketing company which holds the TV and marketing rights for the UEFA competition, wants to raise the deal from the current &£15m over three years to &£38m over the same period.

The Geneva agency also wants to cut the number of sponsors involved in the competition from eight to four.

Team managing director Juergen Lenz says: “We have had a four-sponsor package in our contracts for some time and it has now been activated.”

Team opened talks with the competition’s eight sponsors – MasterCard, PlayStation, Ford, McDonald’s, Cannon, Nutella, Amstel and Continental – two weeks ago.

A sports agent representing one of these sponsors says: “Sponsors with pan-European reach think this is a good move. It gives them more exclusivity and a chance to leverage the competition across the continent.”

Team will argue that the deal covering the expanded Champions’ League is good value when compared with the World Cup, where sponsors pay &£25m for a competition that runs once every four years.

By contrast, the Champions’ League plays 257 games a year, and has expanded from 24 to 32 teams. Team claims each game receives an estimated live European audience of 200 million, with a further 400 million watching in either live or highlights packages across the world.

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