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Rome 2009: UEFA Champions League Final Worth €310m, Says MasterCard Study


Manchester United FC or FC Barcelona to enjoy winners windfall of more than €110 million; downturn sees UEFA Champions League Final increase its value to the economy
Rome, Italy. - Two of the world’s greatest football clubs will tonight contend for a windfall of more than €110 million for winning the 2009 UEFA Champions League Final, in a match worth upwards of €310 million in total to the European economy, according to a new study commissioned by MasterCard, Official Sponsor of the UEFA Champions League.

The MasterCard Heart of Sports Commerce report, developed by Professor Simon Chadwick, one of the world’s most revered sport business experts, found that FC Barcelona and Manchester United FC stand to profit from positive economic impacts such as increased squad value, prize money, sponsorship deals, television rights and growth in season ticket sales, with even the losing side making at least €65m.

Professor Chadwick found that the 2009 Final will generate a greater economic boost (€310m) than last yeari (€267m). He cites the global economic downturn as a key positive factor in this, as it has created a new community of football fans and organisations worth €25 million in spending power to the European economy.

These are people not previously engaged with the UEFA Champions League Final who are looking for excitement and to escape the pessimism associated with harsh economic conditions. They are also companies seeking the best value-for-money and exposure the UEFA Champions League Final provides, such as those looking to deploy advertising budgets. This economic trend was already identified at other major sporting events in 2009, such as the NFL Superbowl, which saw increases in both number of viewers and advertising spend from the 2008 to 2009 eventii, making it one of the biggest in history.

Recent UEFA Champions League matches between major clubs have also shown significant levels of interest, such as when Real Madrid CF played against Liverpool FC in this year’s knockout phase, 42% of Spain’s TV viewing audience tuned in. Similarly, the knockout phase game between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC saw 34% of Britain’s TV viewers watch the game.

Windfall for the winning club: upwards of €110 million
Windfall for the city of the winning team: upwards of €15 million
Windfall for losing club: upwards of €65 million
Windfall across Europe: upwards of €75 million
Windfall for Rome: upwards of €45 million
Economic impact of the 2009 UEFA Champions League Final = €310 million

The above includes a ‘recession premium’ worth €25 million

Economic boost for Rome
According to the MasterCard study, Rome stands to earn more than €45 million from hosting the 2009 Final. This economic boost will result from a short term positive commerce flow through fan spending in bars, clubs, shops, hotels, city attractions, bookmakers and inside the Stadio Olimpico, along with sponsors and organisations spending on marketing in the city, but the Italian capital will also enjoy a longer-term economic legacy, through increased tourism, civic sponsorship and a greater likelihood of hosting future ’mega-events’.

The €45 million windfall for Rome compares to €44.5 million for 2008 hosts, Moscow, and the €26 million Athens was believed to have generated from staging the 2007 Final, according to previous MasterCard research. The slight increase for Rome compared to Moscow is as the result of the Italian capital’s more central location to other parts of Europe, while this is countered by a level of austerity in the downturn ensuring that some fans choose to watch the 2009 Final at home, rather than travelling to Rome.

Barcelona and Manchester can also benefit
The city of the winning club will also benefit from a boost of around €15 million following the 2009 Final. This will be felt through positive economic impacts such as enhanced city image and reputation, leading to increased tourism, and a boost to consumer confidence resulting in increased spending, after the city’s bars, pubs, shops and bookmakers have enjoyed a short term financial boost around the Final itself.

Professor Chadwick said:

"What promises to be an epic contest between two of the world’s greatest teams is also a major spur for the economy. The UEFA Champions League Final proves that sport’s mega-events can overcome the downturn, thanks to their huge emotional appeal.”

“We can expect modest increases in ‘established’ forms of economic and commercial activity around the 2009 Final, which could have been more significant had the economic climate been different, but what comes into play is a ‘recession premium’ worth around £25 million to the overall total from more people engaging as a result of the downturn.”

“Some people may choose not to travel to Rome, but they will generate economic activity at home, and thanks to the Italian capital’s accessible location to Spain, the UK and neutrals, its streets, hotels, shops and bars will still be full of fans looking to sample a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

Paul Meulendijk, Head of Sponsorship at MasterCard Europe, said:

"The UEFA Champions League Final is the biggest football match of 2009 in terms of interest in Europe and around the world. It is simply priceless for fans, whether making the trip to Rome or watching it with friends or family back home. Our research shows that passion for football overcomes economic ups and downs, and in turn leads to a positive boost for certain parts of the economy.”

"MasterCard has been an Official Sponsor of the UEFA Champions League since 1994 and in that time we have been right at the very heart of football commerce, helping fans by facilitating the purchase of match tickets, travel to matches, merchandise to mark the occasion, food and beverages to enjoy at home or at the Final itself – in fact everywhere payments are important.”

With research into the economic impact of the Season 2006-2007, 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 UEFA Champions League and the 2008 UEFA European Championships, MasterCard is one of the leading providers of insight from the heart of sport commerce.


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