With the clock continuing to tick down towards UEFA EURO 2012, UEFA and the companies who are already on board to provide sponsorship for the tournament are stepping up their work.
The first UEFA EURO 2012 sponsors' workshop in Nyon, Switzerland, provided an initial platform for the European body and its partners to look ahead to the final round in Poland and Ukraine in two summers' time.
Seven of the ten partners for UEFA EURO 2012 are already signed up – adidas, Carlsberg, Castrol, Coca-Cola, Hyundai-Kia, McDonald's and Sharp will all provide exclusive sponsorship in their specific product areas. Led by the marketing division, representatives of all seven were at the House of European Football in Nyon to meet and talk with the key operational and marketing specialists from UEFA Events SA and move preparations forward.
Away from the stars and action on the field, a EURO final round – one of the major sports events on the global calendar every four years – offers massive commercial and business opportunities. The workshop, one of a series of four to be held in the run-up to the tournament, was designed to help the UEFA EURO 2012 sponsors to gather information which will aid them in taking their project delivery forward. It also gave UEFA an ideal chance to thank the sponsors for their investment in the competition.
UEFA Events is the key UEFA element in the commercial and marketing activities for UEFA EURO 2012, and is responsible for generating sponsorship and working together with the sponsors. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of UEFA, created to manage and handle UEFA's commercial and event operations. Its role, among other things, is to develop packages that meet the sponsors' needs and develop programmes that help UEFA and the sponsors achieve their specific objectives.
"EURO 2012 is going to be a historic and spectacular event, and the aim is to make it the best-ever EURO. From a marketing perspective, we have a terrific tournament to promote. It is important therefore as partners that we develop an understanding of each other's business and how we work," said the UEFA Events CEO David Taylor in explaining the EURO organisational set-up and the purpose of the workshop.
The discussions in Nyon focused on key project areas, with specialists from UEFA Events and the sponsors defining the path ahead. The EURO programme in terms of sponsorship has grown significantly over the past few years, with many of the systems and processes in place having proved their worth. However, UEFA and the sponsors continue to search diligently for improvement, and the initial exchange of views proved to be extremely constructive.
The workshop concentrated on giving updates on areas including cooperation between sponsors and EURO broadcast partners, rights delivery and planning, licensing, ticketing, branding, hospitality, customs and tax issues, and programmes aimed at young football fans.
In addition, the workshop was an opportunity to highlight the excitement of a EURO final round and the football values that UEFA promotes. These include the commitment to national-team football – a sector of the game that is a crucial source of national football pride and identity.
Over the years, some of the world's great players and coaches have left their imprint on UEFA European Football Championship final rounds. In conjunction with UEFA, the sponsors – the global partners and national sponsors who will be prominent in the two host countries – are sure to make their own invaluable contributions to what will undoubtedly be a memorable occasion in Poland and Ukraine in summer 2012.
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