Uefa parting ways with Konami after 10 years
Uefa is ending its licensing relationship with Konami, the Japanese video game publisher, covering the Champions League and Europa League club competitions.
The 10-year collaboration between the pair will end after the 2018 Uefa Champions League final in Kiev next month.
The split means that the Champions League and Europa League will no longer feature in Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer game.
Konami has held the exclusive rights to use the Champions League and Europa League logos and iconography in its games since the 2008-09 season, and was awarded a licence to the 2016 European Championships.
As part of its deal, Konami also organised the PES League, the Champions League eSports tournament.
The parting of ways will prompt talk that EA Sports, the producer of the popular Fifa 18 game, could replace Konami as the licence-holder for the clubs competitions given that it already has relationships with soccer's world governing body and top domestic leagues such as England's Premier League.
Last March, Uefa launched the bidding process for three categories in the video game sector for its club competitions from 2018-19 to 2020-21.
The rights were available for: football simulation game and associated eSports rights; football management games; and football related casual games and associated eSports rights.
The process is being handled by the Team Marketing agency.
Guy-Laurent Epstein, marketing director of Uefa Events SA, said today: "Konami has been a strong licensing partner for the Uefa Champions League and Uefa Europa League, with our competition brand being heavily featured within the video game and as part of the popular Konami-organised Uefa Champions League e-sports tournaments’.
"It has been a very cooperative and mutually beneficial partnership. UEFA would like to thank Konami for its tremendous commitment and support to UEFA club competitions for the last decade and we look forward to continuing to work with Konami in the sphere of UEFA national team football."
Jonas Lygaard, senior director of brand & business development for Konami Digital Entertainment B.V. added: "The Uefa Champions League licence has given us a platform to create unique experiences and provide football fans from all over the world with an opportunity to enjoy this competition first-hand.
"This year, however, we will shift our focus into other areas. We will continue to explore alternative ways UEFA and Konami can continue to work together, as our relationship remains strong."
• Uefa has invited companies to express interest in acquiring branded apparel, hardware and footwear and licensing rights to the 2020 European Championships.
Interested parties seeking further information have been requested to send an email to CAA Eleven, Uefa's agency partner for national team events, at firstname.lastname@example.org by 30 April, 2018, with the commercial process to begin the following day.
Euro 2020 is to be held in 12 cities across Europe, culminating with the semi-finals and final at Wembley Stadium in London.