UEFA Europa League Trophy
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STS leverages Entain pull to gain UEFA IP rights

Polish sports betting operator STS has gained the rights for the UEFA Europa League and UEFA Europa Conference League in Poland for the 2023/24 campaign. 

Under the provisions of the deal, the Polish sportsbook brand will be able to activate the brand for localised marketing activities across the country through this season. 

STS intends to use the rights to create several digital marketing campaigns this season as it comes into the Entain stable of brands, continuing to assert its hold on the Polish market. 

Entain agreed to pay around £750m for STS Group and closed the deal in August. The London-listed operator has a long-established deal in place with UEFA when it comes to the UEL and UECL.

Paweł Rabantek, CMO at STS, explained: “STS has for years been the best-known and most recognisable brand among bookmaker companies in Poland. The possibility of synergy in marketing activities after the takeover by Entain brings a number of benefits for us, which will allow, among other things, to strengthen this position. 

“I am glad that we have been able to implement all the advertising benefits possible for both the UEFA Europa League and the UEFA Europa Conference League from the first match day.

“At the same time, I can already announce that the benefits of the partnership will also be perceivable to fans and our customers, including through the opportunity to win tickets through attractive promotional campaigns we plan.”

The UEL and UECL group stages kicked off this week, with highlight results including Liverpool beating Austrian side LASK 3-1 and West Ham beating Backa Topola 3-1. Zrinjski Mostar provided a shock, coming from 3-0 behind to beat AZ Alkmaar 4-3, while Polish side Legia Warsaw upset Premier League outfit Aston Villa, beating them 3-2.

STS, in the Entain group, will operate under the joint-venture subsidiary of Entain CEE, backed by EMMA Capital. The Entain CEE venture was founded last summer, following the £690m purchase of Croatia’s SuperSport. Entain maintains a majority stake of 75% in the organisation formed in partnership with EMMA Capital.

Yet the acquisition didn’t come without controversy, as Entain investor Eminence Capital criticised the board for allowing a £600m bookbuild to fund the acquisition of STS Group. Eminence Capital CEO Ricky Sandler didn’t hold back with his comments of bemusement at the bookbuild for the deal. 

He wrote: “We can assure you that this particular shareholder is outraged and in light of the movement in the Company’s share price we are clearly not alone in that sentiment.

“Eminence will continue to make its voice heard in an effort to ensure Entain’s Board and management do not make any further value destructive decisions.”

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