The Champions League Final: The Richest Sport Final Ever

Hi guys,
A couple of days ago, I published an article about the money the Champions League winner and runner up will receive. John Smith, one Football Lounge reader asked the following question: Please tell me where this money is coming from, because it is substantially more than the performance related payments UEFA pay; figures you have outlined in your previous article, unless the market pool for the national associations of England and Spain respectively have grown enormously over the past year. John, a complementary article from MasterCard News. Hope this answers your question!

English champions Manchester United FC and Spanish La Liga winners FC Barcelona to battle for share of historic €200 million prize purse. Meeting of two of the world’s best supported teams set to boost the economic impact of the UEFA Champions League final to a record €369 million. The winner of this year’s UEFA Champions League final will enjoy a record economic windfall of around €126 million, according to a new study commissioned by MasterCard.

A combination of official prize money, an increase in squad value, enhanced television and media rights and greater brand equity will help the winning team scoop the giant windfall, while the losing team will also benefit to the tune of an estimated €73 million.

The MasterCard Heart of Sports Commerce report estimates that Europe’s premier club final is now worth an estimated €369 million – a €17.5 million increase on the value of last year’s event. This increase has been boosted by arguably the world’s two most valuable football brands participating in the UEFA Champions League final.

The economic impact of the UEFA Champions League Final Wembley 2011– key numbers:

  • London, the host city, will scoop an economic windfall of €52 million.
  • The club that wins on Saturday evening will be better off by an estimated €126 million – a €16 million surge compared to when Manchester United FC and FC Barcelona last played against each other in Rome in 2009.
  • The losing finalist will enjoy a windfall of €73 million.
  • The European sport economy will receive a €100 million boost.
  • Latin American interest could generate up to €100 million in economic activity.

Professor Simon Chadwick*, author of the report, said:

“Manchester United FC versus FC Barcelona is the dream final as far as most football fans are concerned. But the English and Spanish champions are two of the most successful teams off the pitch too. They will collectively scoop €200 million, making this the most lucrative final in European club football’s history.”

Ahead of next year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games in London, the UK capital is set to receive a windfall of €52 million as football fans flock to watch Saturday evening’s match, spending their money in the city’s bars, clubs, hotels and at Wembley Stadium itself.

It’s not just London that will reap the benefits of this year’s UEFA Champions League final. The city of the club that wins the final is likely to receive an economic fillip of €18 million through a combination of increased tourism and increased local expenditure.

This year’s UEFA Champions League final will also stimulate economic activity beyond English and Spanish borders. The wider European economy is expected to be boosted by an estimated €100 million as millions watch the game in pubs and bars, spend money on consumer goods, while betting on the match across the continent is set to jump too.

Paul Meulendijk, Vice President and Head of Sponsorship, MasterCard Europe, said:

“MasterCard is proud to have sponsored the world’s best club competition since 1994, especially, since we’ve been able to deliver so many truly priceless experiences to cardholders around the world. We’re equally pleased that through the studies we have been commissioning over the last five years we’ve been able to provide unique insights about the impact that these kinds of events have on the economy. This year’s historic UEFA Champions League final will generate an estimated €369 million in the UK, Europe and beyond – a truly remarkable feat.”

UEFA Champions League brand boosted by finalists.

The estimation that this year’s UEFA Champions League final is set to break all economic records is in large part down to its participants, the MasterCard reports states.

The UEFA Champions League final is being contested by two of the strongest sports brands in the world: Manchester United FC and FC Barcelona. Forbes magazine last year listed Manchester United FC as the most valuable sports brand on the planet, while FC Barcelona claimed eighth spot in the league table.

“While the UEFA Champions League is a strong brand in its own right, the nature and strength of the brand is clearly heavily influenced by its constituent parts – the participating clubs,” said Professor Chadwick.

“This year’s UEFA Champions League final has the perfect ingredients to drive economic activity – Europe’s two biggest clubs playing in a city such as London. The pair’s participation in the final is set to further enhance the brand equity and the appeal of the UEFA Champions League in the future.”

London cements its city of sport reputation.

This year’s MasterCard Heart of Sports Commerce report highlights the huge economic windfall that the UEFA Champions League final bestows on the host city. The second final to be held on a Saturday evening is expected to generate more than €52 million for London, as an estimated 110,000 fans flock to the city for the match from across Europe and around the world.

While London will enjoy short term commercial inflows due to the match, the final will also confer a longer-term economic legacy to the British capital through a combination of increased tourism, civic sponsorship and a greater likelihood of hosting future ‘mega events’.

As London acts as a hub point for media within Europe, the capital is likely to enjoy significant economic benefits in terms of increased usage of electronic and print media advertising, telecommunications and new media services.

“The staging of the UEFA Champions League final in London this year will further bolster London’s reputation as one of the world’s most sporting cities,” said Professor Chadwick.

“London’s sport economy has grown rapidly in recent years and we estimate that by the end of the decade sport related economic activity may be worth up to €3,500 million,” he said.

Latin America to enjoy up to €100 million UEFA Champions League bounce.

The report predicts that this year’s UEFA Champions League final is set to garner record interest from Latin American countries.

There are a total of 12 Latin American players in the collective squads of the two finalists and with as many as 40 per cent of South America’s population believed to have Spanish heritage, interest from the continent will reach new highs this year.

“These factors, allied to population size and the strength of economies such as in Brazil, means that the economic and commercial impact of the UEFA Champions League final in Latin America may be comparable with that evident in Europe,” said Professor Chadwick.

“This means that the impact could be worth upwards of €100 million,” he said.

Factbox: Comparative breakdown of the economic impact of the UEFA Champions League final 2011/2010/2009

Notes: * Professor Simon Chadwick is Chair in Sport Business Strategy and Marketing at Coventry University Business School, UK. Professor Simon Chadwick was commissioned by MasterCard, an Official Sponsor of the UEFA Champions League, to identify the economic impact of the UEFA Champions League Final Wembley 2011.

Source: MasterCard News Release

Karl Lusbec

4 thoughts on “The Champions League Final: The Richest Sport Final Ever

  1. Thank you for this post. In regards to the amounts of money the two clubs will receive, only official prize money is guaranteed (including the market pool), whereas an increase in squad value and greater brand equity are speculations. These speculations may and are likely to be correct but are not definitive because that is not money either club will get now, if they get it at all because an increase in squad value doesn’t bring money until a player is sold and greater brand equity doesn’t bring money until shares or the club is sold. Enhanced television and media rights is also speculative and could only benefit in the future because there are current contracts in place with UEFA and its investors and the two clubs and their investors. However the increased viewership for this years final would allow UEFA and the two clubs to demand more for television and media rights in the future.


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