Russian Natural Gas Producer Gazprom Is New UEFA Partner
UEFA reached an agreement with Gazprom, the largest extractor of natural gas in the world, as an official partner of the UEFA Champions League for the '12-15 seasons and the UEFA Super Cups from '12 through '14. The three-year deal will run until the end of the '14-15 football season. Gazprom joins Heineken, UniCredit, Ford, MasterCard and Sony Computer Entertainment Europe as the sixth and last official partner the '12-15 seasons besides adidas, who is the official supplier (UEFA). News channel RT reported that the Gazprom brand "has already become familiar" in the the context of European football with the company supporting such clubs as Russian Zenit St. Petersburg and German Schalke 04. The deal with UEFA "is seen as another step of promoting itself worldwide" (RT, 7/9). The DPA reported that Gazprom will "make its first appearance" as an official UEFA partner at the Super Cup game between Chelsea FC and Atlético Madrid in Monaco on Aug. 31. The Russian company recently "formed a corperation" with German football legend Franz Beckenbauer who will take on the role of sports ambassador for the Russian Gas Society, which is run by Gazprom (DPA, 7/9).