WME Sports-Benfica to ‘ben’efit from deal

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Benfica stadium naming rights Image: Benfica Lissabon

The Portuguese professional football club Sport Lisboa e Benfica announced on March 16th an exclusive commercial partnership with WME Sports, the sports representation arm of the Endeavor-owned WME agency. As part of the global deal struck, WME Sports will take the lead in hunting for naming rights partners for the Estádio Sport Lisboa e Benfica Stadium (Portugal) and the high-profile Benfica Youth Academy and provide valuation, data and insights powered by Endeavor Analytics.

‘SL Benfica’ stated that the agreement reached will see WME Sports represent two of the most prestigious assets in European football: Benfica Stadium and Benfica Youth Academy. The Benfica Stadium, which boast capacity of 65,000, is a legendary arena that has hosted the 2004 UEFA European Championship Final, 2014 UEFA Champions League Final and 2020 UEFA Champions League Final Eight Tournament, apart from several international concerts and events. The avant-garde Benfica Campus is presently rated as one of the best in the world, having nurtured and molded several players who are currently making their presence felt in Europe’s top-notch clubs. It won the prize for ‘Best Academy of the Year’ at the 2015 and 2019 Globe Soccer Awards.

Sport Lisboa e Benfica ComC MHIH OM, commonly known as Benfica, is a professional football club based in Lisbon, Portugal, that competes in the Primeira Liga, the top flight of Portuguese football.

The 65,647-capacity Estádio da Luz, officially named Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica, is a multipurpose stadium located in Lisbon, Portugal. It is used mostly for association football matches, hosting the home games of Portuguese club S.L. Benfica, its owner.

WME Sports works closely with Endeavor’s network of businesses, including the International Management Group (IMG), a global leader in sports, events, fashion, and media, and Endeavor Analytics, which provides actionable consumer, marketplace and media intelligence to leading brands, leagues and teams.

‘SL Benfica’ quoted Benfica CEO Domingos Soares de Oliveira as telling about the partnership, “I am very happy to be working with the prestigious WME Sports agency, which will bring an unrivaled network of global sponsors to the table. We can’t wait to start collaborating with them to find the right partners for our two most prized assets, the stadium and the academy. This is part of our strategy to continue to position Benfica as a truly international club with a global reach, ensuring that we maximize our brand potential.”

Karen Brodkin, Co-Head, WME Sports, and EVP, Content Strategy and Development, Endeavor, added, “We are excited to be partnering with Benfica and representing two of European football’s most unique assets. The club’s iconic ‘Stadium of Light’ and award-winning, star-producing academy provide an opportunity for brands to not only connect with millions of football fans around the world, but also the six million tourists visiting Portugal’s vibrant capital City (Lisbon) each year. We’re looking forward to utilizing our international sports property sales expertise and a collaborative, data-driven approach to find the right strategic partners for these prestigious global properties.”

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