Champions League Knockout Stage-Same Old Same Old, With One Twist

Champions League Knockout Stage-Same Old Same Old, With One Twist

With the Champions League resuming play on Feb. 13, exposure for the league’s main sponsors will resurface. Of course, you have the official sponsors of the league like Gazprom, Heineken, MasterCard, Nissan, Pepsi, Sony and Unicredit. In addition to the league’s sponsors, you have a majority of the massive clubs across Europe appearing in the round of 16 which will have a substantial effect on viewing figures and fan engagement. 

Those clubs and their shirt sponsors are:

  • Juventus – Jeep
  • Manchester City – Etihad Airlines
  • Liverpool – Standard Chartered
  • Real Madrid – Emirates Airlines
  • PSG – Emirates Airlines
  • Bayern Munich – T-Mobile
  • Chelsea – Yokohama Tires 
  • FC Barcelona – Rakuten 
  • Manchester United – Chevrolet

These nine clubs account for 33 Champions League titles, including PSG and Man City with zero

This list of nine names could be deemed as the top nine clubs in all of Europe. If there is one knock on the Champions League it’s that there is hardly a change in the script. While this argument can be made for nearly any league across Europe, it’s especially true in the Champions League. It’s nearly impossible to witness a 2015-16 Leicester City, 2011-12 Montpellier or a 2013-14 Athletico Madrid.

However, the one “major face” that has made it to the knockout stage for only the third time in club history is Tottenham Hotspur. The English club has had tremendous success over the past three years in the Premier League as they continue to develop their young talent. After finishing second in the EPL behind Chelsea last season, the club certainly has a great opportunity to expand their popularity with a strong Champions League run. 

In addition to their rare appearance in the knockout stage, Tottenham sponsor AIA will receive some long-awaited exposure to the rest of Europe. The Asian insurance group certainly has to pleased that it will be receiving such a large amount of exposure for at least the round of 16 as Spurs face Juventus.

AIA has already extended their official partnership with the North London club until the end of the 2021-22 season. However, it’s this opportunity in the Champions League that could push AIA to an Emirates level type brand in football. The exposure that some of these companies get during the football season can lead to a massive increase in sales, regardless of what industry they’re in. It’s 90 minutes of consecutive advertising. The hope being that the general fan will take 30 seconds to search what that company actually does. At the end of the day, the goal is for the fan to use that service/product.

While some may find it frustrating that the same big clubs are in the knockout stage, there is no denying that we are in for some of the best football that fans of the beautiful game can watch. The three major draws of the knockout stage are Tottenham Hotspur vs Juventus, PSG vs Real Madrid and Chelsea vs FC Barcelona.