By Martin Ross

Volkswagen, the Germany-based car manufacturer, has been unveiled as a sponsor of the 2020 Uefa European Championships and national team competitions from 2018 onwards.

The automotive group recently agreed a deal to take over from rival Mercedes-Benz as the automobile partner of the DFB, the German soccer federation, from 2019 onwards and is now further expanding its sponsorship footprint.

Along with Euro 2020, the sponsorship includes: the new Uefa Nations League finals in 2019 and 2021; European qualifying games for Euro 2020 and the 2022 World Cup; the 2019 and 2021 Uefa European Under-21 Championships; the Uefa Women’s Euro 2021; and Uefa Futsal Euro 2018 and 2022.

A four-year deal with Uefa and its CAA Eleven agency partner was first reported by WAZ, the newspaper based in Wolfsburg, the home of Volkswagen’s headquarters and the Bundesliga side owned by the car manufacturer. 

The agreement will cast doubt over the future sponsorship involvement of Hyundai, the Korean car manufacturer that has backed the European Championships since 2000.

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Volkswagen will become Uefa’s ‘mobility partner’ as it gets behind the Euro 2020 tournament to be staged across 13 European cities (including some games in Munich).

The championships also coincide with Volkswagen’s plans to launch a range of electric cars in 2020.

Guy-Laurent Epstein, marketing director of UEFA Events, said: “We are proud to have such a great European brand with such a genuine passion for football at our side. That holds especially true given the tasks that lie ahead of us: Uefa Euro 2020 will place the most rigorous demands on mobility. There is a grand idea and an innovative concept behind this tournament and we are very happy to have the support of Volkswagen on this exciting journey.”

Herbert Diess, chief executive of the Volkswagen brand, commented: “No other sport is as powerful as football or unites so many people. Furthermore, Uefa Euro 2020, which is being played across the entire continent, is a fantastic project. Our wish is to contribute towards building bridges between all countries and for football fans with our mobility and creativity.”

The car brand’s sponsorship of the DFB runs from the start of 2019 to 31 July, 2024, a period in which Germany could be competing at a ‘home’ European Championships in 2024 (Germany is bidding against Turkey to host the tournament).

The rights cover sponsorship of the national team as well as the DFB Pokal, the national cup competition (from 2019-20 onwards), plus the right to advertise nationally and internationally as a DFB partner. Volkswagen is presently one of six sponsors of the DFB Pokal and the new deal includes an extension of that sponsorship.

Along with its backing of VfL Wolfsburg (which includes shirt and stadium naming rights sponsorship), Volkswagen is also a sponsor of the FFF and the SFV, the French and Swiss soccer federations, respectively, German soccer’s DFL Supercup and relegation play-offs and shirt sponsor of Swedish side Malmo.

In recent months, Uefa and CAA have issued sales processes across various sectors for sponsorships covering the next four-year cycle.