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Coca-Cola finalises Coppa Italia title sponsorship, adds Serie A rights

(Photo by Silvia Lore/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Soft drinks group Coca-Cola has acquired the title sponsorship rights to Italian football’s main cup competition, the Coppa Italia, having surveyed the territory as title sponsor of the 2019 Supercoppa Italiana.

As reported by SportBusiness in March, Coca-Cola was keen to acquire the Coppa Italia rights because its “modest investment” in the 2019 Supercoppa had proven so successful.

The agreement will start with the final of the 2019-20 ‘Coppa Italia Coca-Cola’, scheduled for June 17, 2020. The match was postponed from its traditional slot in May because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Along with the branding rights, Coca-Cola will leverage social, digital and gaming platforms to engage football fans around the match.

The deal between the cup’s organising body, Lega Serie A, and Coca-Cola will further expand to take in official sponsorship rights to Serie A itself during the 2020-21 season.

Coca-Cola said in a statement that the association with Lega Serie A is part of the brand’s strategy and globalisation process and “affirms the positioning of Coca-Cola in the world of football with the values of positivity, inclusion and equality that have always inspired the brand”.

The value of the title sponsorship rights to the Coppa Italia tournament is placed at about €5m ($5.5m) per season, a major step up from Coca-Cola’s one-off deal for the 2019 Supercoppa, which was valued at between €250,000 and €500,000.

In 2018, a Coppa Italia title sponsorship deal with rail company Trenitalia’s Frecciarossa brand was scrapped when the government stepped in and overruled the deal in controversial circumstances. That deal would have run for three seasons, from 2018-19 to 2020-21.

Telecom Italia’s mobile brand TIM had been title sponsor of Serie A, the Coppa Italia and the Supercoppa in a deal which expired at the end of the 2017-18 season. It had sponsored the Coppa Italia since the 1998-99 season.

From the 2018-19 season it initially only renewed its rights for the league, at €15m per season, but later stepped in to do a one-season deal for the Coppa Italia, for 2018-19.

The 2019 Supercoppa was played in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on 22 December, 2019.

The financing for the recent investments is thought to have come from the budget of Coca-Cola Italy. Coca-Cola already holds a two-year deal with Serie A champions Juventus, covering  seasons 2019-20 and 2020-21. The deal is thought to be worth close to €1m per season.