Gazprom signs up to sponsor Uefa Champions League for another three years
Gazprom, the Russian energy giant, has extended its sponsorship of the Uefa Champions League for the 2018-21 cycle, Uefa, European soccer’s governing body, announced today.
The announcement is the sixth for the 2018-21 sponsorship sales process, after Heineken, Nissan, PepsiCo and Mastercard extended their existing relationships, while Santander has joined as a new partner, having agreed a deal to replace UniCredit.
The worldwide sales of all Uefa club competition sponsorship rights are being carried out by the Team Marketing agency.
As revealed by Sportcal last year, Uefa and Team have tweaked the Champions League commercial model for the next cycle, with eight official partner vacancies, one more than in the present cycle, meaning that Uefa and Team have two slots left to fill.
Sony is an existing Champions League sponsor alongside Gazprom, Mastercard, PepsiCo, Heineken, Nissan and UniCredit. Team is still out in the market seeking sponsors for the next cycle in the categories of airlines and technology.Uefa said: “As an official partner of Europe's premier club competition, Gazprom will continue to utilise its association with the Uefa Champions League to bring fans closer to the game and cement its position as a key supporter of European football.”
Guy-Laurent Epstein, Uefa Events SA’s marketing director, added: “Gazprom has been a valued partner of the Uefa Champions League since we joined forces in 2012, and we are delighted that we will be continuing our relationship for another three seasons.
“Not only is Gazprom a leader in its field, it also has a long heritage in football. We look forward to developing our relationship as we enter a new Uefa Champions League cycle.”
Gazprom became a Champions League sponsor in 2012, and the partnership has prompted a series of protest stunts by environmental organisation Greenpeace over the years.
German sportswear giant Adidas provides the match ball to both the Champions League and the Europa League, but the supplier package will shift to an official licensee from 2018-19, and Molten has already picked up the contract for the secondary competition.
In November last year, Gazprom chose to end its sponsorship deal with World Sailing, the sport's governing body, two years early.
World Sailing told members at its annual conference that Gazprom International “elected to exercise its right to terminate the agreement with effect from December 2017, which World Sailing has accepted.”
Gazprom signed a five-year deal to become an official partner of World Sailing in January 2015.
Gazprom is also a top-tier ‘Fifa partner’ of soccer’s world governing body.