chapter  Chapter 35
18 Pages


WithKenneth Cortsen

UEFA’s competitive positioning in shaping the sporting quality and the business of football is indisputable. This UEFA case study offers insights to identify and understand vital aspects of UEFA’s situation. Why and how that relates to the football business, its managerial complexity, and the improvement of football management interactions inspire football scholars and practitioners in the development of sustainable sporting and business models. The study is grounded in symbolic interactionism, relevant sports management literature, and qualitative and quantitative data collection. In the contextual frame of football, business and management, this study showcases UEFA’s explosive economic development and professionalisation. Factors from the ecosystem of international football such as fans, media, sponsors, national football associations, and clubs are included. This serves to illustrate why and how UEFA can approach the interrelationship between sporting and business performances to safeguard the viable development of European football. Sports brands cannot be isolated from time and context and are dynamic phenomena that are meaningful for people “right here, right now.” Thus, UEFA’s historic improvement measured on sporting quality and commercialisation has manifested its current brand equity and leveraged a sound platform for future progress. However, UEFA is subject to massive exposure and brand recall, but people don’t love UEFA unconditionally. Therefore, this UEFA study discusses how UEFA’s current performance traces back to its historic development and how these scenarios may be applied to secure UEFA’s future success with its problem areas and challenges in mind. Consequently, there are contrasts between UEFA’s changes to its sporting and commercial set-up around premium events like the EURO, the Champions League and the Europa League and the derived capital injections on the positive side and challenges like the enforcement of UEFA Financial Fair Play, reputational concerns (e.g. corruption), and the demands from absolute top clubs in powerful football nations, e.g. Germany and Spain, for preferential treatment on the other side. This is debated while UEFA adapts to increased stakeholder demands for good governance, which reflects UEFA’s multifaceted identity.