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21.05.2010

First winner in the Madrid Final already set: UniCredit

  • The first season is a success for the sponsor of the UEFA Champions League
  • Stops set for the UEFA Champions League Trophy Tour 2010
  • UniCredit appoints Luís Figo as brand ambassador for UEFA Champions League sponsorship related activities

This year's match in the UEFA Champions League Final,  this Saturday in the Spanish capital, comes as a stroke of luck for UniCredit Group. Both finalists – FC Bayern München and FC Internazionale Milan – come from countries that are core domestic markets for the European group, with Germany being the second largest market behind Italy. Moreover, the two teams have a special relationship with the sponsor – FC Internazionale is a football symbol of Milan, the city where the headquarters of UniCredit Group are based, while FC Bayern München has long been sponsored by HypoVereinsbank (the German subsidiary of UniCredit Group).

This combination of events crowns an overall highly successful first season as sponsor of the UEFAChampions League. For CEO Alessandro Profumo, one thing is clear: "The first winner of the Final Madrid 2010 is UniCredit."

Brand and sponsorship awareness
For UniCredit, one of the main objectives behind its 2009-2012 sponsorship of the UEFA Champions League, the most important club competition in the world, is to increase brand awareness and consideration of the master brand in all 22 markets and to support local re-branding projects. While using Europe's most prestigious football competition as a powerful vehicle for Group communication goals, nearly all of the secured sponsorship rights have also been used for local communication campaigns. This is aimed at supporting local brands and their sales efforts in the individual markets.

At the end of the first season, thanks to the active adoption of communication and activation measures and the committment of the Group's employees, the success of this sponsorship is already becoming visible. Sponsorship awareness is growing quickly. Even when compared to the first season of other sponsors,  UniCredit is performing above average."What is very interesting is that in most countries the purchase intentions and likeability of our brand amongst those who are aware of the sponsorship is double what it is amongst those who are not aware that UniCredit is a sponsor of the UEFA Champions League." says Alessandro Profumo.

The sponsorship is also proving to be a uniting factor within the Group, strengthening the sense of people who belong to UniCredit. The sponsorship is a real benefit for employees and has also boosted the development of group-wide chains and processes.

UEFA Champions League Trophy Tour
One of UniCredit's most important activation initiatives was the UEFA Champions League Trophy Tour presented by UniCredit, which carried the Trophy through five countries between September and October 2009, with stops in Milan, Zagreb, Budapest, Bucharest and Sofia. The Trophy Tour presented by UniCredit achieved a record number of over 90.000 visitors during the five-countries tour. The Trophy Tour will resume after the summer break with the following stops: Munich (15 – 19 Sept.), Prague (24 – 26 Sept.), Warsaw (1 – 3 Oct.), Bratislava (8 – 10 Oct.) and Vienna (14 – 17 Oct.).

Luis Figo as Brand Ambassador
In order to exploit the full impact of the sponsorship, the Group has now appointed Luís Figo, one of Europe's most successful football players of the last 15 years, a brand ambassador for all UEFA Champions League's sponsorship related activities, with the aim of supporting the bank over the next two years as an expert on all matters to do with football. "In Luís Figo, we have acquired an internationally acknowledged personality, whose career can probably be described as unique and perfectly fitting our brand," says Alessandro Profumo. As a former player at renowned clubs such as Sporting Clube de Portugal, FC Barcelona, Real Madrid CF and most recently FC Internazionale, European Best Player in 2000 (France Football Ballon d'Or) and UEFA Champions League Winner in 2002, to name just some of his awards, he brings a wealth of experience and huge fan potential with him, which he would like to call upon for the company. Whether it be on the Trophy Tour, in supporting UniCredit UEFA Champions League related promotional activities, as a guest at internal events or as a football expert for UniCredit guests at special matches.

Alessandro Profumo and Luís Figo will attend tomorrow a press event in Madrid to celebrate the first year of sponsorship by UniCredit of the UEFA Champions League and to present the next initiatives.

About UniCredit Group
UniCredit Group is a major international financial institution with strong roots in 22 European countries as well as representative offices in 27 other markets, approximately 9,800 branches and more than 165,000 employees at 31 December 2009.

UniCredit Group is market leader in Central and Eastern Europe, where it is one of the largest players in the banking market, with an extensive network of approximately 4,000 branches.
The Group operates in the following CEE countries: Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey and Ukraine.

UniCredit is one of the six exclusive Official Sponsors of the UEFA Champions League for the current and next two seasons.

Enquiries:
UniCredit Group Media Relations:
Tel. +39 02 88628236
e-mail: MediaRelations@unicreditgroup.eu

International Media Relations 
Silvana Lins  
Phone: +43 (0) 50505 56036 
E-mail : silvana.lins@unicreditgroup.at

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