Global Success in Sport: The Effective Marketing and Branding of the UEFA Champions League

By Holt, Matthew | International Journal of Sports Marketing & Sponsorship, October 2007 | Go to article overview

Global Success in Sport: The Effective Marketing and Branding of the UEFA Champions League


Holt, Matthew, International Journal of Sports Marketing & Sponsorship


Abstract

The history and heritage of some brands is such that an accumulation of brand equity occurs whereby stocks of images, symbols, logos and icons are built up. The role of brand managers in these cases is to release this equity in an attempt to both realise the value of brand equity and provide a foundation for future development of brand equity. Using a case from global sport, this study analyses the branding of a property and how this drew from a number of equity enhancing features, as well as capitalising upon changes in marketing and the marketplace.

Keywords

Brand equity

UEFA Champions League

global sport

Executive summary

Competition between the elite clubs of Europe can be tracked back to the 1950s. Following a series of friendly matches between Wolverhampton Wanderers of England and Honved of Hungary to decide Europe's premier club, the French newspaper L'Equipe proposed the formation of a competition consisting of the league champions of each European nation, then constituted under UEFA. Thus the European Champion Clubs' Cup, more commonly known at the European Cup, was born and administered under UEFA's auspices. The competition remained unchanged for almost 40 years, but the growth of television as a key medium of soccer consumption, and the development of satellite and pay television digital technologies, led to exponential growth in the revenues available to clubs. UEFA took action to reconsider both the commercial and the sporting aspects of its main club competition. In 1992 the European Cup was transformed into the UEFA Champions League (UCL), a hybrid competition comprising league and knock-out, around which a new brand identity was developed and implemented by UEFA in partnership with TEAM. This case study examines how this process was undertaken by identifying how each component of the brand was developed, and by addressing the role that the relationship with commercial partners also played in the process.

The emergence of the UEFA Champions League

Competition between the elite clubs of Europe can be tracked back to the 1950s. Following a series of friendly matches between Wolverhampton Wanderers of England and Honved of Hungary to decide Europe's premier club, the French newspaper L'Equipe proposed the formation of a competition consisting of the league champions of each European nation, which was then constituted under UEFA's auspices. Thus the European Champion Clubs' Cup, more commonly known at the European Cup, was born. The competition remained unchanged for almost 40 years, but the growth of television as a key medium of soccer consumption and the development of satellite and pay television digital technologies led to an exponential growth in the revenues available to clubs. UEFA took action to re-consider both the commercial and the sporting aspects of its main club competition. In 1992 the European Cup was transformed into the UEFA Champions League (UCL), a hybrid competition comprising league and knock-out, around which a new brand identity was developed and implemented by UEFA in partnership with TEAM.

UEFA and TEAM

The commercial growth of soccer has been facilitated by a small number of event and media management companies, most notably ISL, long-term partners of both the world governing body FIFA, and UEFA.

UEFA formed what has turned out to be a hugely successful alliance with two former executives of ISL. Recognising the opportunities for growth, Klaus Hempel and Jurgen Lenz had formed Television Event and Media Marketing (TEAM), based in Lucerne, Switzerland, as the vehicle through which the UEFA Champions League would be transformed. On instruction from UEFA, TEAM sought to apply a blueprint for sports marketing success by marrying the synergetic qualities of soccer, sponsorship and television. Through its marketing of the UEFA Champions League (UCL), TEAM has exploited the commercial opportunities in a global marketplace and with UEFA created a integrated sporting and commercial platform for Europe's elite clubs. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Global Success in Sport: The Effective Marketing and Branding of the UEFA Champions League
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.