- Since 2009, UniCredit has been an Official Partner of the UEFA Champions League
- From 2015 to 2018, UniCredit is also the Official Bank of the UEFA Club Competitions
- In the course of six seasons as a partner of the UEFA Champions League, UniCredit has generated an average comparative return on sponsorship investment of 255 percent
This year, UniCredit's sponsorship of the UEFA Champions League has special meaning for the banking Group. The final championship match is being played in Milan, where the Group's general headquarters is located. For the Final itself, two great teams from Madrid, Real and Atlético, will meet in a historic derby.
The bank's sponsorship was expanded last year to include all the major European club football competitions from 2015 through 2018. This move has made UniCredit the Official Bank of UEFA Club Competitions, providing support for the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, UEFA Futsal Cup finals, UEFA Super Cup, UEFA Women's Champions League and UEFA Youth League.
At a press conference this morning, the importance of the sponsorship was discussed by UniCredit CEO Federico Ghizzoni and two great footballers chosen as UniCredit Ambassadors for the 2016 UEFA Champions League Final; Dejan Stanković and Émerson Ferreira da Rosa.
"In 2009 we decided to enter the world of sports sponsorship and became a partner of UEFA," said Ghizzoni. "We knew then that we were beginning a long journey, the purpose of which was to enhance the visibility of our brand in the markets we serve. What we didn't know then was that this remarkable journey would one day lead us back here to Milan."
Ghizzoni went on to explain that because the first two sponsorship periods generated excellent results for the bank, it was only natural to renew the partnership and extend it to cover the Europa League as well, which made UniCredit the Official Bank of the UEFA Club Competitions. This year, a total of 31 teams from 10 countries served by UniCredit qualified in the group phases of the Champions League and the Europa League. This represents a significant marketing opportunity for a European financial institution such as UniCredit. "We are especially proud that this year our city of Milan, the home of UniCredit's headquarters, is one of the stars of the 2016 Final," said Ghizzoni.
This year the bank shifted the focus of its sponsorship somewhat to include activities tied more closely to the daily business of UniCredit. For the first time, the Group's local banks have been allowed to add clear commercial messages to their sponsorship branding communications. This has included the promotion of a wide range of products and services through LED signboards at the games and new television advertisements. These changes have generated additional value by attracting new business in local markets.
In six seasons of sponsoring the UEFA Champions League UniCredit has generated an average comparative return on investment of 255 percent and has achieved steady gains in "brand appeal" and "propensity to buy". According to the latest market research, the sponsorship continues to yield good results for UniCredit. Since 2009, it has generated over 15.5 billion contacts for UniCredit and has helped sell 1.5 million products through more than 330 UEFA Champions League-related publicity campaigns launched in nearly all of UniCredit's markets.
In tandem with the sponsorship, UniCredit has been expanding its investment in digital platforms and services, in keeping with the goals of its strategic plan. This year, the Group's social media platform has received particular attention. The UEFA-related Player of the Week contest attracted more than 300,000 votes this season and the company's use of its #Appassionati hashtag allowed fans tweeting about the UEFA Champions League Final to see their tweets projected onto the side of the UniCredit Tower.
Furthermore, to evolve from brand awareness to sales development UniCredit have just launched Champions Rewards in Italy, the loyalty program linked to the new UniCreditCard Flexia UEFA Champions League that allows customers to get benefits related to their passion for football. The new program is supported by UEFA and its main sponsors and it will be extended in other European key markets during next season.
Milan, May 28, 2016
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