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UniCredit and the UEFA Champions League: Five Years of Successful Partnership


  • With the impending close of the 2013-14 season, UniCredit celebrates its fifth year of sponsoring the UEFA Champions League. The sponsorship continues to effectively promote UniCredit's brand in Europe, delivering a return on comparable costs of more than 200%.  
  • This weekend, UniCredit invites its guests to "Discover the Stars" together with Luís Figo, former UEFA Champions League winner and international football player.
  • UniCredit's cooperation with Panini, which began in November 2013, has provided the Group with a new means to leverage its sponsorship.
  • Next season, the UEFA Champions League Trophy Tour presented by UniCredit will bring the trophy to five European countries for the sixth consecutive year.


Tomorrow's historic match between Real Madrid CF and Club Atlético de Madrid at the Estádio da Luz marks the conclusion not just of another exciting UEFA Champions League season, but of the fifth successful sponsorship year of UniCredit, the Official Bank of the UEFA Champions League.


Sponsorship continues to burnish the UniCredit brand


According to the latest reports and market research, the sponsorship continues to deliver positive results for UniCredit. From season 2009-2010 until season 2012-2013, UniCredit has generated almost 12 billion contacts and collected over 500,000 leads in total thanks to various UEFA Champions League promotions and activities. Across nearly all of UniCredit's markets, the bank's various entities and subsidiaries launched almost 250 UEFA Champions League-related campaigns and sold roughly 1.4 million related products after four seasons. To date, UniCredit has shared its excitement for the UEFA Champions League with over 46,000 of its guests at matches.


"The Final in Lisbon promises to be yet another big moment in European football, and UniCredit is delighted to be a main sponsor of the UEFA Champions League for the fifth consecutive year," said Federico Ghizzoni, the CEO of UniCredit. "Over the past years we have certainly surpassed our sponsorship goals. In terms of brand awareness, image and propensity to buy, the sponsorship has been a boon for UniCredit. Its return on comparable costs has been more than 200 percent during the first four years of its partnership with UEFA."


"The UEFA Champions League sponsorship has effectively promoted UniCredit's brand in Europe since 2009," continued Mr. Ghizzoni. "We are further establishing our position as a leading European commercial bank thanks to the strong international reach of the UEFA Champions League."


Marketing research validates investment


Market research shows that since the start of the engagement (November 2009 to May 2013) the sponsorship awareness of UniCredit brands across its network has doubled on an aided level and tripled on a spontaneous level. Across all 16 analyzed countries UniCredit brands have achieved an increase in aided brand awareness by 22% within the total catchment area (on spontaneous level by 43%) and by 29% among the UEFA Champions League viewers. During the same period the gap between the UEFA Champions League viewers and non-viewers also increased by 86% from 7 to 13 percentage points.


The impact of the sponsorship on UniCredit's brand image has been significant in almost all countries. On a group-wide basis, the propensity to buy is driven primarily by the expectation of finding a leading bank that stays close to its customers and is fair and transparent in its dealings. People who are aware of its UEFA Champions League sponsorship tend to associate these image statements with UniCredit. The perception of UniCredit as being very or quite appealing is 64 percent higher among those who are aware of the sponsorship. This group also is 71 percent more likely to purchase UniCredit products.


Luís Figo joins with UniCredit for another great night of football


As the Official UniCredit Ambassador for the UEFA Champions League Final 2014, Luís Figo will participate in various UniCredit events this weekend. "After having worked with UniCredit for many years on numerous events related to the UEFA Champions League, I'm looking forward to being with them this weekend in my home country and experiencing the exciting atmosphere that surrounds the Final together with UniCredit's guests," said Luís Figo. The Portuguese star, who won the trophy in 2002, served as UniCredit's Official UEFA Champions League Ambassador between 2010 and 2012.


UniCredit invites its guests to "Discover the Stars" in Lisbon


In connection with its involvement in the UEFA Champions League Final in Lisbon this year, UniCredit has offered its guests, customers and other sports fans a number of opportunities to "Discover the Stars". UEFA built the Final in Lisbon around the theme of "The Stars Align," drawing on the history of the great Portuguese explorers who used the stars to navigate around the world. In coherence with UEFA's theme, UniCredit's "Discover the Stars" initiative featured an online game based around a virtual voyage through the cities of the last 16 UEFA Champions League teams, with Lisbon as the final destination. Players sought to "collect" as many stars as possible along their way by correctly answering trivia questions about these 16 teams. The grand prize was tickets to the Final in Lisbon tomorrow. Among other prizes, winners will receive pieces of the official match confetti that will rain down on this year's champions. In addition to the international version of the game, local versions of the "Discover the Stars" game were run in Italy, Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary. Winners and other special guests can look forward to discovering the stars for real this weekend in Lisbon together with Luís Figo.


Tomorrow's match will also allow the two lucky winners of UniCredit's internal "Discover the Stars" competition to walk out onto the football pitch, where they will hand over the "Official UEFA Champions League Match Coin provided by UniCredit" to the chief referee.


UniCredit and Panini's virtual sticker collection proves a hit in its first year


For the 2013-14 UEFA Champions League season, UniCredit and Panini, the sports memorabilia company, partnered to launch a collection of virtual stickers for fans to collect, trade and enjoy online in a variety of ways. The special website for the collection "", available in eight languages, invites enthusiasts to participate in an imaginative selection of sticker-related challenges.


In season 2013-2014, this successful initiative attracted the participation of roughly 42,000 registered users and generated a rapid increase in Facebook fans as the season progressed. UniCredit and Panini look forward to continuing this innovative partnership for the coming 2014-15 UEFA Champions League season.


Welcoming the new season with the 2014 Trophy Tour


In September, for the sixth consecutive year, UniCredit will continue its tradition of taking the iconic UEFA Champions League trophy on a tour through Europe for the enjoyment of football fans across the continent. This year the UEFA Champions League Trophy Tour will open in Warsaw in mid-September before continuing to Bratislava, Vienna, Zagreb and Belgrade, where the program will conclude at the end of October.


As in 2013, the trophy will be displayed on an official podium in front of a monumental backdrop that enables visitors to get a taste of the UEFA Champions League experience as they pose for pictures alongside the famous prize. Admission to the Trophy Tour is free, and the trophy is accompanied by a lively exhibition of UEFA Champions League-related content and interactive displays.


In its first five years, the UEFA Champions League Trophy Tour presented by UniCredit visited 66 European cities in 14 countries. More than 500,000 fans have participated, taking more than 146,000 pictures with the iconic trophy.


On average, over 514 million contacts were made by each tour. An average ROI of 399 percent was achieved by these tours from 2009 to 2013.




Milan, Lisbon,  May 23, 2014