Soft drinks and snack foods giant PepsiCo and European soccer’s governing body UEFA have today (June 21) announced the extension of their major commercial partnership until June 2027.

PepsiCo has been a partner of UEFA’s top-tier pan-continental men’s Champions League (UCL) competition since 2015, and will now continue in that position for the next four years. This represents a three-season renewal, with the current partnership between the two running up until the end of 2023-24.

PepsiCo becomes the first of UEFA’s major UCL sponsors to renew its association with the competition for the next commercial cycle, which runs from the start of 2024-25 through to the end of 2026-27.

The heavyweight has said it will “help expand the reach of the world’s most-watched sports competition [and] drive next-gen fan engagement.”

PepsiCo is aiming to expand the UCL’s reach by “doubling up activations in the US … and the Middle East.”

The brand and UEFA will utilize each other’s fans database “to deliver a bespoke experience based on their unique preferences and behaviors.”

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PepsiCo will also continue to work on the entertainment show that runs before the annual UCL final, with the Kick Off Show by Pepsi having started in 2016.

The soft drinks giant will also provide hydration products for teams, coaches, and referees through its energy drinks brand Gatorade, while the Gatorade Sports Science Institute will “provide extensive hydration and sports nutrition resources.”

The partnership will also see PepsiCo make a $1-million investment into UEFA’s array of charity projects through the UEFA Foundation.

Adam Warner, PepsiCo’s head of global sports and partnerships, said: “For the past eight years, our global markets have delivered best-in-class activations, harnessing the combined power of the UEFA Champions League and PepsiCo iconic food and beverage brands. With the extension of our sponsorship, we will continue leveraging our portfolio to drive positive change to people and the planet on and off the pitch."

Guy-Laurent Epstein, marketing director at UEFA, added: "We are delighted to continue partnering with PepsiCo and their iconic brands for the next three-year cycle. Together, we will continue improving the fan experience in innovative ways and positively impact communities through the power of football around the world.”

PepsiCo is also a sponsor of top-tier UEFA women's soccer, through a five-year deal announced in mid-2020.

The Team Marketing agency is handling all UEFA club sponsorship rights processes for the next cycle, as part of its deal with the Swiss-based body.

Other official UCL sponsors include Heineken, PlayStation, FedEx, Mastercard, Just Eat, Takeaway.com, Oppo, and Turkish Airlines.

UEFA initially began the sales process to find sponsors for its 2024-27 club competitions cycle – also covering the second-tier UEFA Europa League and third-tier UEFA Europa Conference League – in May 2022.

The 2024-25 campaign will see an increase in the number of teams involved in the group stages of the UCL, up from 32 to 36, resulting in a rise in the number of overall games from 125 to 189.

Image: Burak Kara/Getty Images