Insider Sport: On The Ball – DAZN & BeIN expand their UEFA profile

From sponsorship to the ever-expanding world of football media coverage, when it comes to the business of football, InsiderSport has you covered.

This week’s OTB reports on DAZN acquiring the majority of UCL rights in Germany, BeIN’s acquiring of Euro 2020 French broadcasting rights, LFC’s Nike partnership announcement and an interview with FootballMedia CEO Dean Akinjobi.

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DAZN takes over as Germany’s main UCL broadcaster

Carsten Schmidt, Sky Deutschland’s chief executive, has confirmed that global sports streaming service provider DAZN has acquired the majority of rights to the UEFA Champions League (UCL) in Germany.

Starting as of the 2021/22 season, the three year deal between DAZN and the UCL marks the first time that UEFA has opted for a streaming-first distribution model for its premier club competition within the German market.

Moreover, the deal with DAZN also brings to an end Sky’s long-term broadcasting partnership with UEFA as was revealed by Schmidt in Germany’s Bild tabloid newspaper.

The Sky chief executive explained: “In the tendering process that has just been completed, we have not been able to agree on a continuation of the cooperation after about 20 years of partnership with UEFA.

“We have an economically clear and responsible view on the value of sports rights, however, even in the interests of our customers, we were not prepared to go beyond the high value that we attach to this right.”

Despite having lost the rights to the UCL, Sky Deutschland still has the rights to the German premier club football league, the Bundesliga, as well as the English Premier League and Formula One. 

The French broadcasting rights for Euro 2020 has been acquired by BeIN

BeIN Sports, the pay-television broadcaster, has announced it has acquired the French broadcasting rights to the upcoming international football championship, UEFA Euro 2020.

The deal, sees BeIN secure live coverage of all 51 games from Euro 2020, with the Qatari-based broadcaster also securing exclusive broadcasting rights to 28 of those matches.

Guy-Laurent Epstein, UEFA’s marketing director, stated: “In all our broadcast partners we look for broadcast innovation and the highest quality of programming, and BeIN is undoubtedly a flag-bearer in both regards.

“With European football continuing to be such an important sporting spectacle in France, we couldn’t be happier to have BeIN as our official broadcast partner to help us deliver UEFA Euro 2020 to fans across the country.”

As well as live match coverage, the deal covers linear and digital output, and also includes highlights, near-live and on-demand clips as well as other support programming.

Although no official figures have yet been released, French daily sports newspaper L’Equipe has reported that the deal is worth in the region of €38m, a figure which marks a near 40% decrease when compared to the €60m BeIN reportedly paid for the Euro 2016 broadcasting rights.

Yousef Al-Obaidly, BeIN Media Group chief executive, added: “With its new 24-team format, this year’s European Championship is bigger and better than ever before – so we are delighted to extend our long-term partnership with Uefa and continue to bring the very best of sport to our valued subscriber-base.

“We continue to bid proportionately for premium sport, and this deal to broadcast Euro 2020 adds to our unrivalled library of premium football and other sports content in France, reinforcing BeIN Sports’ long-term position as the one of the leading sports broadcasters in the world.”

The deal marks the latest agreement between UEFA and the broadcaster in France and follows on from BeIN securing the majority of exclusive French television rights to the UEFA Champions League for the 2021-2024 cycle.

Euro 2020 is set to open on 12 June with the final scheduled to kick off one month later on 12 July.

LFC unveils Nike as official kit supplier

Nike has been announced as Liverpool Football Club’s new official kit supplier, with the sportswear company set to replace New Balance as from the 2020-21 season.

The multi-year partnership, which is effective as of 1 June 2020, will see Nike manufacture and supply Liverpool FC’s playing, training and travel wear for both the senior men’s and women’s teams as well as the academy squads, the club’s coaching staff and the LFC Foundation. 

Billy Hogan, LFC’s managing director and chief commercial officer, stated: “Our iconic kit is a key part of our history and identity. We welcome Nike into the LFC family as our new official kit supplier and expect them to be an incredible partner for the club, both at home and globally as we continue to expand our fanbase. As a brand, Nike reflects our ambitions for growth, and we look forward to working with them to bring fans new and exciting products.”

The announcement follows on from Liverpool’s court win over New Balance after the Boston-based sportswear brand alleged the club was looking to switch to Nike once it’s existing contract ended in May 2020.

Liverpool’s former kit suppliers argued they were entitled to match Nike’s offer, however, the judge ruled that New Balance’s offer was ‘less favourable to Liverpool’ when considering the marketing and distribution aspects available to Nike. 

Bert Hoyt, VP, GM Nike EMEA, added: “Liverpool Football Club has such a proud heritage and strong identity. The partnership with Liverpool FC underscores our leadership in global football and with the club’s passionate worldwide fanbase and strong legacy of success, they have a very bright future ahead.

“We look forward to partnering with them to serve players and supporters with Nike innovation and design.”

As of yet no financial figures have been released, however, it is rumoured that the deal could represent a record in English football, with it being believed that the worth of the newly struck deal could possibly match or exceed Manchester United’s £75m per year deal with Adidas.

Hogan concluded: “We’d like to thank New Balance for their support over the last few years and wish them well for the future.”

FootballMedia CEO Dean Akinjobi: Increasing football’s efforts in sustainability

Ahead of the group’s latest partnership within women’s football, Dean Akinjobi CEO of FootballMedia, tells us more on why he believes football needs to be a positive influence when it comes to sustainability.

InsiderSport: Can you tell us more about the deal you have just made within women’s football? 

Dean Akinjobi: The deal that Football Media has created is a three year deal between our eco friendly spring mineral water client brand, Aqua British and West Ham United Women’s team.

Aqua British provides its spring mineral water in 100% plastic free biodegradable bottles and we have created a deal for Aqua British to be the official water partner of West Ham United’s Women’s team, they will drink Aqua British, it will be served in the VIP hospitality section at the women’s ground and as part of the deal we have created a retail channel, where Aqua British will be available for sale to fans at all West Ham United Women’s team home games.  

InsiderSport: What type of initiatives and activations can we look forward to as part of the deal? 

Dean Akinjobi: Football Media is currently working on a number of strategic activations and initiatives as part of the deal, we are very keen to showcase the importance of hydration, whilst at the same time, educate fans and the wider public on the importance of sustainability in everyday life product choices that we make. 

Aqua British being an innovator in the market with its 100% plastic free biodegradable bottles and with four pence from the price of every Aqua British bottle sold going towards planting trees, we are in a strong position working with West Ham United Women’s team and Football Media’s activation network to achieve the objective of getting this essential message across.  

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