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Football and car manufacturers - a match made in heaven?

Football is big business for car manufacturers: we give you the lowdown on how the two collaborate.

The British football season may have come to a close recently, but there is still one big clash to come – the UEFA Champions League Final

The British football season may have come to a close recently, but there is still one big clash to come – the UEFA Champions League Final

The British football season may have come to a close recently, but there is still one big clash that is sure to enthral millions worldwide – the UEFA Champions League Final.

It was somewhat unexpected that this year’s final – held at Wembley Stadium in London – would be an all-German affair, contested between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich, but it will no doubt entertain the watching audience.

With the impending finale of the European season almost upon us, it seems an appropriate juncture to look at car manufacturers’ presence in the world of football.

Ford, UEFA and Sky

For the past 20 years, Ford has been one of the principal sponsors of the UEFA Champions League.

In 2011, Ford extended its contract with UEFA until June 2015, making it the longest-standing sponsorship with UEFA.

  • The 2010-11 competition attracted more than 500 million television viewers in Europe, 230 million in the Americas, 190 million in Africa and over 130 million in Asia.

  • Global coverage of the UEFA Champions League reached almost 100,000 hours.

  • 178.7 million viewers watched the 2011 UEFA Champions League Final, making it the highest ever TV audience for a UEFA Champions League Final and the highest global TV audience for a sporting event in 2011.

  • Ford provides over 900 vehicles every season, such as the Ford Galaxy and Ford Transit, to help with transport logistics for UEFA Champions League games.

Ford Logo Ford's logo is clearly displayed in stadiums throughout Europe, exposing the brand to millions of people worldwide

Stephen Odell, Chairman and CEO, Ford of Europe said, "The UEFA Champions League is an ideal platform to connect with millions of consumers around common values."

Coupled with their UEFA arrangement is Ford’s sponsorship with Sky Sports.

Ford has been the premier sponsor of Sky Sports live football coverage for over 20 years now, and it is estimated that 16 million people saw Ford's sports sponsorship coverage last season.

@Ford provides 900 vehicles every season to help with transport logistics for UEFA @ChampionsLeague games. #uclfinal

In addition, Ford Super Sunday – Sky Sports’ flagship weekly broadcast – has been running since 1992. The trailers have featured some iconic tracks, including Andreas Johnson’s ‘Glorious’ and Moloko’s ‘The Time is Now’ - songs which have become synonymous with the show for many football fans.

Having lucrative agreements with two majors forces in the football world has allowed Ford to launch the new Mondeo and Kuga models in the ad breaks of Champions League finals - giving maximum exposure to these new models.

Chevrolet and Manchester United

Chevrolet Chevrolet hope to connect their brand with Manchester United supporters “all around the world.”

Amongst their 33 sponsors, newly crowned English Premier League champions Manchester United signed a deal with Chevrolet in July 2012, making them the club’s principal sponsor from the beginning of the 2014 season – a deal rumoured to be worth a staggering £357 million.

Alan Batey, General Motors’ North America Vice President of US Sales and Service, said, “We are extremely proud to connect our brand, Chevrolet, with Manchester United and its passionate supporters all around the world.”

Vauxhall and the Home Nations

In January 2011, Vauxhall announced that they had signed a three-and-a-half-year deal to become the lead partner to the national teams of the UK. It is also rumoured that Vauxhall played a significant part in arranging the England versus Scotland friendly at Wembley this coming August.

Vauxhall Home Nations Sponsorship Sponsoring the four home nations gives Vauxhall excellent exposure in the UK market

Vauxhall Managing Director Duncan Aldred said, “Football and cars are two of the UK's greatest passions, and these partnerships are a clear and unequivocal sign that Vauxhall is determined to be the UK's number one supporter of football.”

Volkswagen and Wolfsburg

All the talk may be about two of Germany’s biggest football clubs clashing at Wembley, but it is another club who benefit from the support of one of Germany’s car manufacturers – Vfl Wolfsburg.

Vfl Wolfsburg is a wholly owned subsidiary of Volkswagen Group, which is also headquartered in Wolfsburg.

Volkswagen Stadium Football Sponsorship Volkswagen partly funded Vfl Wolfsburg’s new stadium, built in 2002

Wolfsburg even recently changed their shirt sponsorship from the Volkswagen logo to the GTi logo for a match against Bayern Munich, ahead of the launch of the new Golf GTi this month.

Volkswagen Wolfsburg Statdium Owning and controlling an entire football club has massive marketing benefits

Hyundai, Kia and FIFA

Both Hyundai and Kia have been the Official Automotive Partners of FIFA since 1999.

Hyundai The Hyundai i30 photographed with some of Europe’s most famous players

The agreement includes exclusive sponsorships to all FIFA competitions held throughout the world.

With upcoming World Cups being held in Brazil in 2014, Russia in 2018 and Qatar in 2022, Hyundai and Kia are guaranteeing exposure in some of the fastest-growing economies.

The relationship between football and car manufacturers shows no sign of abating - just last week, Citroen and Arsenal FC have come together to produce a radical new advert to promote its new Citroen DS3 Cabrio model.

So, whether you’re watching the Champions League on Saturday evening, waiting for the next World Cup, or catching the adverts at half-time during a match on Sky, look out for the presence of Ford and other car manufacturers. And if you're looking for a new Ford, search our site for the best deals.

About the Author

Jonathan Wilson

Staff writer at Arnold Clark