French football's Professional Football League (LFP) has announced that food delivery service Uber Eats will become the new naming rights sponsor of Ligue 1
According to French daily newspaper Le Figaro, Uber Eats will pay the LFP €32 million (£28m/$36m) over the course of the agreement, marking a significant increase on the reported €20 million (£18m/$22.5m) paid by furnishing and household appliances retailer Conforma, Ligue 1’s previous title sponsor.
As reported by L'Equipe, the deal will include the delivery driver bringing the ball on to the pitch ahead of kick-off.
“This major agreement reflects the new dimension taken by Ligue 1,” said LFP chief executive Didier Quillot. “We are very proud to be able to count on the support of Uber Eats, a major global brand, to support the development of the French championship.
“From 2020-2021, the title partnership agreement will seal a major alliance. After partnership agreements with major US sports franchises, we are very proud that Uber Eats has chosen Ligue 1 as the first European sport partnership with the aim of supporting its development. We are also particularly pleased to be able to associate Ligue 1 with a very strong brand among young consumers.”
An official release added that the partnership will ‘offer many opportunities’ to French soccer fans, including ‘unique experiences’ when watching live matches.
Stephane Ficaja, Uber Eats’ general manager for Western and Southern Europe, added: “Football is a sport that federates all generations and is a major focus of many French and Uber Eats application users. Through this partnership, we want to continue to be part of their daily lives by registering in the long term and by offering them new experiences.”
The news has not gone down well with fans, with many taking to Twitter to suggest that partnering with the food delivery app isn't a partnership that will elevate the reputation of the league.
Uber Eats currently operates in 110 cities around the world, with nearly 15,000 affiliated restaurants in France alone.
Next season Ligue 1 will feature Metz and Brest who won promotion from Ligue 2 in the 2018-19 season, finishing first and second in the league respectively.
French football's second division is currently sponsored by Domino's Pizza and known as Domino's Ligue 2.