UEFA announced two new national team competition sponsorship deals with beer brand Carlsberg and Azeri oil producer Socar in May – both of which will contribute to a major increase in sponsorship revenue for the European football governing body.
The two deals are the first to be sold by CAA Eleven – UEFA’s exclusive national team commercial rights agency – under a new central sponsorship model rolled out for the 2014-18 rights cycle.
What is the new model?
Previously, UEFA was responsible for selling sponsorship rights to all European national team competitions, including the European Championships (Euros), the Under-21 Euros, the Women’s Euros and the Futsal European Championships.
UEFA has now bundled in sponsorship rights to the Euro qualifiers and the European qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup after acquiring these rights from national football associations.
Have all associations surrendered their sponsorship rights?
Not quite. UEFA’s rights acquisition focuses on pitch-side perimeter boards. Twenty-one of the larger federations opted not to allocate UEFA any perimeter board space for commercial use on the basis that their own sponsorship portfolios are more valuable than what UEFA’s centralised model would deliver.
Seventeen national federations allocated 50% of their commercial board inventory to UEFA, while 15 have handed over 100% of their commercial boards. All federations have given UEFA 20% of their board allocation for UEFA signage and promotions.
What does this mean for sponsorship prices?
Huge rises. The Socar deal is the largest national team competition deal UEFA has ever done. Carlsberg, however, will be paying significantly less than Socar.
Why the difference?
Because of Loi Evin legislation in France, Carlsberg will not have perimeter signage at Euro 2016 or broadcast sponsorship in the host market – a key financial component of the package. UEFA, via CAA Eleven, will sell three more packages under the new sponsorship model at a similar level to the Socar deal.
What about overall sponsorship revenue?
Sponsorship revenue for the Euros alone is set to grow by more than 50% in 2016. In context, UEFA expects to earn between Eur450 million and Eur500 million from 10 sponsors at Euro 2016 compared to the Eur300 million generated by 10 sponsors for Euro 2012. UEFA will also earn new revenue from the rights it will be selling around the Euros and the World Cup qualifying matches.
This is a personal perspective of Luke Harman, reporter for Sports Sponsorship Insider.
Read the full story on UEFA’s sponsorship centralisation, including exclusive numbers on the Carlsberg and Socar deals, in the latest issue of the Sports Sponsorship Insider newsletter.