Nine critical qualifiers for the largest UEFA European Championship ever will have taken place by the end of the weekend. The 2016 UEFA Euro Championship in France will for the first time feature 24 teams playing 51 matches, making it the biggest European sporting event in history. This means that 65 percent more matches will be played and 80 percent more tickets will be available for this tournament, compared to the previous Euro Cups with the 16-team format.
Euro 2016 is set to generate the highest revenue in the history of the event with sponsorship revenue alone set to grow more than 50 percent. This means that UEFA expects to earn between $564 and $626 million from its 10 sponsors compared to the $379 million generated from Euro 2012.
Five brands are sponsoring the tournament based on preexisting contracts signed prior to the 2012 Euro Cup. These brand are adidas, Coca Cola, Continental, Hyundai and McDonald’s. The two new brands signed on for 2016 are Danish beer company Carlsberg, and the Azerbaijanian Oil Company, Socar. Even though Carlsberg paid $75 million for its four-year contract, Loi Evin legislation in France prohibits the advertisement of alcoholic products. This means that the beer company will not have board advertising or broadcast sponsorship in the tournament’s host market.
UEFA has yet to release any information on what percentage of the revenue increase will be dedicated to the 24 teams’ prize money. They will release the actual figures after the TV contracts are signed, roughly 12-14 months before the start of the tournament.
However we know that the prize money of the tournament has been steadily increasing over the past years:
Euro 2000 prize money
Euro 2004 prize money
Euro 2008 prize money
Euro 2012 prize money
With Euro 2016 being the biggest of the tournaments yet, players can expect an increase in prize money from the 2012 tournament’s $245 million. However, while this money will be divided among more teams, surely the winning national team will go home with more than Spain’s $29 million in 2012.