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New digital assets drive deals with Alipay, Expedia, Bookings.com – Uefa

Uefa’s change in digital strategy has been key to new partnerships with Alipay, Expedia and Bookings.com, Guillaume Sabran, head of sponsorship and licensing, Uefa told delegates at the Sports Decision Makers Summit in London.

Speaking on a panel discussing the ‘Data Dimension’ in sponsorship, Sabran said that Uefa changed its strategy after Euro 2016, having noted that fans were consuming the event on social media and digital platforms that were unconnected to Uefa and its partners.

“We decided to wake up, and stop missing inventory and opportunities,” said Sabran.

“We’ve invested in talent, agencies and a CRM system to use the digital ecosystem to combine apps, the website, social media and now Uefa.tv, the OTT platform that is at the end of the chain.”

He said that Alipay, Expedia and Bookings.com understood more about the use of data than Uefa, but “what they didn’t have was the passion for the sport and that [combination] has worked well.”

New assets, he said, have been developed for Uefa’s digital business partners that were not previously part of Uefa’s rights portfolio. Bookings.com, for example, has rights to offer hotel options in the relevant host city to fans who buy into the 4m tickets on sale for Euro 2020 on Uefa.com.

The new data means that Uefa is also changing its valuation model to include digital metrics. Uefa established a “new valuation proposition” for the first time this summer.