The Russian energy giant, the largest extractor of natural gas in the world, has signed a three-year deal to promote its products via European football’s showpiece club competition. David Taylor, CEO of UEFA Events SA, said: “Gazprom is a global energy company and the UEFA Champions League will benefit from Gazprom presence in more than 20 European countries and many more around the world. We expect that involvement with the UEFA Champions League will assist Gazprom to help build their brand awareness and identity on a global stage.”
Alexey Miller, chairman of the management committee of Gazprom, added: “Gazprom is not only the largest gas company in the world but is also one of those most passionate about football. We have a long history of supporting football clubs in Russia and Europe. Now we have joined the UEFA Champions League – the leading European club football competition. I am sure this cooperation will improve Gazprom’s reputation and advance our brand awareness to a fundamentally new level on the global scale.”
Gazprom joins Heineken, UniCredit, Ford, MasterCard and Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) in the commercial portfolio for the 2012-15 seasons of the Champions League, while Adidas is the competition’s official supplier. UEFA in April extended its sponsorship agreement with SCEE and its PlayStation brand for the 2012-15 cycle, with the deal heralding the end of the electronics giant’s separate partnership with the tournament.
Sony Europe, under the corporate Sony brand, will discontinue its sponsorship and focus on “creating other entertainment-driven activities across the Sony Group”. Therefore Gazprom has effectively replaced Sony Europe as a Champions League top-tier sponsor.