Uefa, the governing body for soccer in Europe, has announced that Banco Santander will be an official sponsor of the Uefa Champions League, European club soccer’s premier competition, for the 2018 to 2021 cycle.
The three-year deal with the Spain-based banking group, which operates in various markets across Europe and the Americas, also covers the Uefa Super Cup, an annual season curtain-raiser contested by the reigning champions of the Uefa Champions League and the Uefa Europa League, the continent’s secondary club tournament, as well as the Uefa Youth League Finals and the newly formed Uefa Futsal Champions League Finals.
Santander’s rights package will include pitchside and television advertising slots, as well as tickets, client hospitality events and various other benefits.
The agreement is the third partnership secured as part of the 2018 to 2021 sponsorship sales process for the Uefa Champions League, and follows renewals with Dutch beer brand Heineken and Japanese carmaker Nissan.
Guy-Laurent Epstein, marketing director for Uefa Events SA, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Santander into the Uefa Champions League sponsor family and are excited to partner with one of the most distinguished and forward-thinking banks globally.
“There is a natural fit between the Uefa Champions League and Santander, with the bank being consistently recognised within the best global brands and, of course, with the Uefa Champions League Final remaining the most watched annual sporting event on the planet. Santander has a great heritage in sport and this partnership will allow the Uefa Champions League to further engage with football fans in Latin America and around the world.”
Ana Botín, Banco Santander’s executive chairman, added: “Santander's partnership with the Uefa Champions League, the world's most global and aspirational sporting competition, builds on our support of Libertadores [South American club soccer’s premier competition] and, more recently, Racing Santander, the local football team of the Cantabrian city where our bank was founded 160 years ago. We will continue our support of sport because it is a valuable way to contribute to the prosperity of the communities where we work.”
The final round of the 2017/18 Uefa Champions League group stage takes place next week, with the draw for the knockout phase set to follow on 11th December at Uefa’s headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland.