UEFA has extended its sponsorship agreement with PlayStation for the 2012-15 Champions League cycle, with the deal set to herald the end of electronics giant Sony’s separate partnership with the tournament.
The agreement which also encompasses the UEFA Super Cup in 2012, 2013 and 2014, saw PlayStation, a brand of the Sony Computer Entertainment Europe division, join Heineken, UniCredit, Ford and MasterCard as the fifth official partner for the 2012-2015 seasons, besides Adidas, which is the official supplier.
The PlayStation deal left the main Sony brand as the only current partner yet to commit to the new cycle. However, the company is set to end its agreement in favour of concentrating on other commercial opportunities.
“From 2012 onwards, the Sony Group will focus on the sponsorship of UEFA Champions League under the PlayStation brand only,” Sony said in a statement released to SportBusiness Newslines by UEFA. “Following a six-year long relationship, Sony Europe, under the corporate Sony brand, will discontinue its sponsorship and focus on creating other entertainment-driven activities across the Sony Group.” UEFA said it is currently in discussions with “different prospects” to finalise the sixth and last package for the 2012-15 Champions League cycle.
Regarding PlayStation’s continued commitment to the Champions League, David Taylor, CEO of UEFA Events SA, said: “We are pleased to continue our long-standing partnership with PlayStation, an iconic brand that has been an enduring sponsor of UEFA’s top club competition since 1997. Sponsorship of the UEFA Champions League continues to offer a unique stage to develop brands and provides our partners with excellent opportunities to reach their target audience.”
Nick Caplin, head of communications at Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, PlayStation’s parent company, added: “The UEFA Champions League has been a huge basis for PlayStation 3 and as well as continuing to support this platform, we now look forward to bringing our latest platform, PlayStation Vita, to such significant sporting tournaments. Top-level football provides an enormous opportunity to reach the PlayStation audience both in Europe and worldwide. This agreement solidifies the partnership between Europe’s biggest sporting and entertainment brands.”
It’s a very interesting move from SONY. To focus its football marketing activities with the Playstation platform only is smart and sensible. Football fans are tech savvy, and the Playstation platform provide them with more connecting points, and this is what Sony is working on achieving.