UEFA, European soccer’s governing body, will achieve a 25% increase in revenue for the upcoming Euro 2024 compared to the previous edition and is confident of reaching a cumulative global audience of over 5 billion, its marketing director Guy-Laurent Epstein has said.

Ahead of the start of the tournament in Germany on Friday, UEFA has completed its sponsor line-up for the event and is putting the finishing touches to its final broadcast arrangements.

With the Euros taking place in one of the continent’s major soccer markets, a local sponsorship program, featuring several big-name German brands, has helped the governing body bolster its commercial income.

UEFA and its CAA Eleven sales agency have secured five national sponsors for the tournament – Bitburger, Deutsche Bahn, Deutsche Telekom, Ergo, and Wisenhof.

This is in addition to 13 global partners – adidas, AliExpress, Alipay, Atos, Betano, Booking.com, BYD, Coca-Cola, Engelbert Strauss, Hisense, Lidl, Visit Qatar/Qatar Airways, and Vivo.

Chinese consumer electronics brand Hisense recently expanded its deal with UEFA, meanwhile, after being appointed to serve as the exclusive official video assistant referee (VAR) screen provider for Euro 2024.

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The successful sales process has resulted in a significant uplift in revenue across all areas for the organization.

In an interview with Sportcal, Epstein said: “We will see an increase of 25% [in revenue] from the last Euros, which is quite significant. That’s counting every revenue stream – commercial, sponsorship, licensing, broadcast, and ticketing.

“All the revenues are about 25% above the last Euros, which is healthy growth. We are above the targets and well in budget with regard to this so we're very happy with the way it went. Commercially, we've achieved a very good program.”

From a broadcast perspective, UEFA has in recent days concluded late Euro 2024 deals with international pay-TV broadcaster BeIN Sports in France and Wowow in Japan.

This followed tie-ups with TrueVisions in Thailand and Match TV and Okko in Russia to all but complete the global broadcast arrangements for the 17th edition of the European Championship.

The remaining rights contracts are expected to be announced before the opening game.

Epstein said: “We are concluding some [broadcast deals] as we speak, we have two or three deals, tiny ones that are still open, but 99.9% of it is done already. With under a week to go, it's really finishing the commas and the dots of the contracts as we speak. But we are in place.”

Euro 2020 (played in 2021 due to Covid-19), attracted a cumulative global live audience of 5.2 billion, while the final between England and Italy was watched by 328 million viewers, on par with the record set in 2016.

On average, each live match was watched by over 100 million viewers, while it was also claimed to be the most engaged Euros ever on social media with 7.5 billion interactions and views – of which 2 billion were generated by official UEFA accounts.

Epstein is confident this year’s competition will reach the same heights in terms of reach and potentially surpass the figures from three years ago across all platforms.

He stated: “The Euro is huge. The target is 5 billion cumulative audience across the month, so it's quite significant. Each of the 51 games is bigger than one Super Bowl [from American football's NFL]. The Super Bowl has this image of being a huge audience, and it's true in the US, but we are global and therefore we can reach people everywhere.

“We hope to grow compared to the last Euro and we believe we will. Having this setup in Germany and the storytelling behind it, it's easier to do. Germany is a big football market and with the bigger teams in Europe, it will be a great promotion around it. We expect to surpass what we did in Euro 2020 with a target audience of 5 billion. We are very confident.

“The explosion will be in digital because the digital reach grows all the time. The digital offering that we, and the sponsors and broadcasters can do, is growing every few years and is bigger than before. So, this Euro will have a significantly huge digital footprint.”

UEFA will distribute a total of €331 million in prize money for Euro 2024, with every participating nation to receive €9.25 million. The winners will receive an extra payment of €8 million.

Euro 2024 kicks off on Friday with hosts Germany taking on Scotland in the opening game at the Allianz Arena in Munich. The tournament will conclude on July 14 with the final in Berlin.

Meanwhile, UEFA yesterday (June 10) announced the launch of its first-ever UEFA Refereeing Commercial Programme.

This new opportunity within the continental governing body's partnership portfolio will offer a set of rights including sleeve branding on referee kits across UEFA competitions.

The sales process for the UEFA Refereeing Programme is led by Two Circles, the international digital-focused sports agency. Further information can be obtained by contacting Charlotte Lomax, at charlotte.lomax@twocircles.com.

In April, UEFA launched a tender process covering kit supply for referees’ kits during the 2025-29 cycle with a deadline of May 31 set.

The chosen supplier will provide kits for UEFA refereeing teams across most of the body’s competitions – both club and national teams – between 2025 and 2029. The only exception will be European qualifying games for the FIFA World Cup.

Competitions such as the annual UEFA Champions League top-tier clubs event, and Euro 2028, are covered by the deal.

UEFA’s current supplier of referees' kits is Italian sports equipment brand Macron.