Saturday night’s UEFA Champions League Final will see two of the world’s greatest football clubs battle for a windfall worth more than €120 million, according to a new study commissioned by MasterCard.

The research, conducted on behalf of the Official Sponsor of the UEFA Champions League, also predicts the match is set to be worth upwards of €351.5 million across the European economy.

The MasterCard Heart of Sports Commerce report predicts a total increase of €41.5 million on the economic impact of the previous year’s competition, demonstrating the business of football remains buoyant across the entire continent. The news is particularly significant as no English or Spanish clubs – widely recognised as the economic powerhouses of European football – are represented in the Final for the first time in five years.

The MasterCard study, developed by Professor Simon Chadwick, one of the world’s leading sport business experts, estimates that the Spanish capital, Madrid, will benefit from a windfall of €50 million while even the losing club is set to pocket more than €70 million from the event. Across all areas of research, the MasterCard study predicts significant increases compared to last year.

Breakdown of the economic impact of the Champions League Final


2010 Amount

2009 Amount

Windfall for hosting the

€50 million

€45 million

Windfall for the club
winning the Final

€120 million

€110 million

Windfall for the city of
the winning club

€17.5 million

€15 million

Windfall for the club
losing the Final

€70 million

€65 million

Windfall for European

€94 million

€75 million

Total economic impact of
UEFA Champions League Final

€351.5 million

313 million


Professor Simon Chadwick, MasterCard’s Advisor on sports commerce, said: “The value of the 2010 UEFA Champions League Final is set to break all previous records – giving either FC Bayern München or FC Internazionale Milano the opportunity to scoop more than €120 million by winning Europe’s premier club competition. It’s clear that football is booming, despite neither an English or Spanish club featuring in the Final for the first time in five years. The 2010 UEFA Champions League Final is set to break new ground in terms of its massive economic impact.”

Paul Meulendijk, Vice President and Head of Sponsorship, MasterCard Europe, said: “The €351.5 million boom that the 2010 UEFA Champions League Final could generate is testament to the incredible passion that fans – right across the world – have for this event. As a sponsor of this competition since 1994, MasterCard is proud to bring the fans closer to the game and the game closer to the fans, and facilitate access through all promotions and activities that we and our customers are putting in place. As such, watching history in the making really will be priceless.”

Madrid’s in the money
The MasterCard report predicts a €50 million economic boost for the Spanish capital as a direct result of hosting the 2010 UEFA Champions League Final. This figure includes a short-term spending increase in the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium and across Madrid in bars, clubs, shops, hotels, city attractions and bookmakers. But it is supplemented by the economic legacy the Spanish capital will receive, including increased tourism and the prospect of hosting future sporting mega-events.

Madrid’s €50 million windfall eclipses the premium of €45 million which Rome enjoyed as host in 2009. The rise is largely due to the rescheduling of the UEFA Champions League Final from midweek to a Saturday – when people can travel more easily and have more time to consume sport. The qualification of non-Spanish/non-English team s has increased the uncertainty of the result and interest in the Final, leading to more than 120,000 people descending on the city for the match.

European economic boost
The wider European economy will enjoy a predicted windfall of €94 million as a result of the UEFA Champions League Final. The MasterCard report predicts that fans that spend significant sums travelling from across the continent to witness the spectacle – in particular from Germany and Italy – will be a significant contributor to this sum. In addition, football fans from every European country will spend money around the Final on items including replica shirts, food and drink. With research into the economic impact of the Season 2006-2007, 2007-2008, 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 UEFA Champions League and the 2008 UEFA European Championships, MasterCard is one of the leading providers of insight from the Heart of Sports Commerce.

Additional Economic Analysis – Distinctive features of this year’s Final

There are three distinctive features of this year’s Final which are likely to deliver increased economic benefits:

First Saturday Final: Rather than being held in mid-week, this year’s Final will be played on a Saturday when on average people’s time is less scarce and they consume more sport. This is likely to result in more people both visiting Madrid and watching the game in their local cafe or bar. The Saturday Final is therefore likely to bring many wide ranging economic benefits, including higher advertising spend from a predicted increased television audience and further spending around the Final from those watching in their native country – on areas including food, drink, magazines and betting.

Competitive Premium: Since 2004, 80% of the teams contesting the UEFA Champions League Final have been from either England or Spain. The 2010 event will be the first time since 1972 that FC Internazionale Milano has appeared in Europe’s premier Final and no German club has featured in a match since 2002. According to the research, the unpredictability of the result will add a competitive premium to the economic value of the Final.

Television: The UEFA Champions League Final is the leading event in terms of global television audiences for major sporting events. The 2009 UEFA Champions League Final between Manchester United and FC Barcelona attracted an average television audience of 145.2 million, eclipsing the Super Bowl, which gained an average audience of 106 million (Source: Initiative Futures Sport). Audience reach for the 2010 UEFA Champions League Final is expected to be 170 million viewers.

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