Hisense, the major Chinese electronics firm, has struck a major extension to its commercial deal with European soccer’s governing body UEFA, running to 2026.
The tie-up covers all UEFA men’s national team events for the next three years, including the 2024 European Championships, qualifiers for both next year’s Euros and the 2026 FIFA World Cup global soccer tournament, the UEFA Nations League, the Under-21 Euros, the quadrennial Finalissima match featuring a European nation taking on a South American side, and Futsal Euro events.
This comes as an extension to the previous deal between Hisense and UEFA which covered the 2018-22 commercial cycle.
The collaboration between the two parties initially began in 2016, through a two-year tie-up. This means that Euro 2024 in Germany will be the third consecutive Euros – after 2016 in France and 2021 across the continent – for which the electronics heavyweight has collaborated with UEFA.
Guy-Laurent Epstein, marketing director at UEFA, said: “I am thrilled that Hisense is renewing its commitment to European soccer as an official partner of UEFA Euro 2024, which will be the third consecutive Euros together. Their technologies continue to help make football more accessible and enjoyable to fans worldwide.”
Howard Grindrod, president of Hisense UK, spoke to GlobalData following the extension announcement and said the renewal “really shows our ability to collaborate and build close working relationships with major sports organizations on an international level.
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“We see ourselves as a global community, and soccer is the biggest global sport so this stage gives us opportunities to reach out worldwide.
“Our association with UEFA is incredibly important as our European market is vital – being able to use our reach through soccer to cement activities across all countries on the continent.
He added that in terms of future collaborations: “This deal runs through 2026 – we have a very close and supportive association with UEFA by now so negotiations [around extensions] are always taking place."
In terms of specific deals covering the German tournament, so far UEFA has tie-ups in place with Lidl, Engelbert Strauss, and Vivo, while national supporters of Euro 2024 include Ergo, Deutsche Bahn, and Deutsche Telekom.
The national supporter category of UEFA commercial sponsor was dropped for the 2021 Euros, with the nature of that tournament being staged across 11 European countries making it harder to attract brand interest. However, it has now been reinstalled in UEFA’s marketing model.
The next Euros will be staged across 10 German host cities between June 14 and July 14 next year.
Aside from its UEFA deal, meanwhile, elsewhere in soccer Hisense has tie-ups in place with clubs such as French Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain and Italian heavyweights Inter Milan, as well as a deal covering last year’s men’s FIFA World Cup.
Outside of that sport, meanwhile, the brand also has deals in place with basketball’s NBA in the US, and with Australia’s National Rugby League.
Grindrod added that as opposed to Hisense’s activations during the last men’s Euros, in England in 2021, “this event will have a much more European theme for us, the last edition was very UK-centric because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
He also paid tribute to the addition of the UEFA Nations League to that body’s array of top-tier national team competitions, in terms of providing an extra appeal to sponsors, saying: "As UEFA increases its reach and offer, we are bound to get very excited about the new additions, and get some sort of collaborative discussion going on.”
Of other prospective upcoming sponsorships, Grindrod simply said: “These things are always fluid – we get approached by a lot of prospective partners.”
In terms of activation around the German Euros next year, Hisense is opening the chance to win tickets to customers who buy select built-in appliances in September and October.