UEFA has announced the signing of a sponsorship agreement with SOCAR (State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic) – one of the largest oil companies in the world – as official sponsor of UEFA's national team competitions, including the UEFA European Football Championship. As part of this partnership, SOCAR will already be included in the commercial programme for this summer's UEFA European Under-21 Championship and UEFA Women's EURO 2013 final tournaments.
SOCAR becomes an official sponsor of the 2016 UEFA European Football Championship final tournament, and acquires rights in connection with the European Qualifiers, which run from 2014 to 2017, and which relate to the qualification matches for UEFA EURO 2016 and the 2018 FIFA World Cup. SOCAR also becomes an official sponsor of the 2016 UEFA European Under-17 Championship, which will take place in Azerbaijan.
The Azeri company becomes the seventh global partner for the 2016 UEFA European Football Championship, following on from the agreements with Coca-Cola, adidas, McDonald's, Hyundai/Kia, Continental and Carlsberg.
Commenting on the announcement, the marketing director of UEFA Events SA, Guy-Laurent Epstein, said: "We are very pleased to welcome SOCAR as an official partner of the UEFA national team competitions, including the 2016 UEFA European Football Championship and the 2014–17 European Qualifiers. This comprehensive sponsorship platform will offer SOCAR a unique opportunity to promote their brand and drive engagement with their target audience. SOCAR's aim to become a global energy company, and our collaboration, will bring new opportunities for the promotion of the very best of European national team football to a larger and wider group of fans."
Following today's partnership agreement, SOCAR's vice-president on marketing and investments, Elshad Nasirov, said: "We are thrilled to be involved with this forward-thinking project, and SOCAR takes great pride in its association with the world of sport. Sponsorships across sport are a very significant point for us, and for SOCAR to be associated with such a large-scale and exciting competition as the 2016 UEFA European Football Championship is very important. This sponsorship provides us with a unique platform to raise the international profile of SOCAR, and reflects our vision of establishing and building a premium brand in the energy sector."
UEFA Events is a wholly owned subsidiary of UEFA, created to handle the European football governing body's commercial and event operations. CAA Eleven is the exclusive marketing agency of UEFA appointed to manage commercial rights to UEFA national team competitions, including the UEFA European Football Championship, UEFA European U21 Championship, UEFA European Women's Championship, UEFA European Futsal Championship and the European Qualifiers.
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