BrandArena: Why UEFA is inviting startups to create sustainable solutions for Champions League sponsors

Monday 25 September 2023

Why UEFA is inviting startups to create sustainable solutions for Champions League sponsors

The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) recently announced the introduction of 'Champions Innovate,' a programme that invites sustainability-focused entrepreneurs to develop solutions and ideas for problems identified by Champions League sponsors PepsiCo, Mastercard, and Just Eat Takeaway. But what was the reason for this?

According to UEFA Innovation Hub, the programme was created with the aim of catalysing innovation around the 2024 UEFA Champions League final in London, creating a more sustainable match-day experience. Startups that are at least two years old and have developed a minimum viable product (MVP) can apply now and will be selected by Dec. 15, after which they develop a pilot program and pitch it two days prior to the UEFA Champions League Final in London.

The project is a partnership between UEFA, its commercial partners, and the Greater London Authority, and aims to enhance the 2024 UEFA Champions League final’s social and environmental impact leaving a lasting positive impact on the host city.

These partners will provide mentoring to the shortlisted firms throughout the testing phase in London. If the pilot projects are successful, they will be integrated into the planning of the final, which is scheduled on June 1, 2024.

UEFA states that all pilot solutions will be revealed and honoured during an event in London two days before the final.

At the launch of this programme, Andrea Traverso, UEFA’s Director of Financial Sustainability and Research said: “The UEFA Champions League final is synonymous with excellence, and UEFA is determined to bring together top-tier commercial partners and the world’s most promising entrepreneurs to catalyse change, both on and off the field.

“At UEFA, we acknowledge that collaborating with experts is key to address numerous challenges and is why the UEFA Innovation Hub aspires to unite top talent from various industries. With Champions Innovate, the UEFA Innovation Hub aims to unearth the champions of innovation who can contribute to football’s development in every aspect. Talent knows no limits, and UEFA is committed to nurturing it.”

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