Hankook Tire Extends Partnership With UEFA Europa League and UEFA Conference League

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Sanghoon Lee, President & COO of Hankook Tire Europe & Guy-Laurent Epstein, UEFA Marketing Director. Credit: Hankook Tire

For a fifth consecutive year, premium tire manufacturer Hankook Tire, is extending its successful involvement in the UEFA Europa League and UEFA Conference League until the end of the 2026/27 season.

Through the sponsorship of the UEFA Conference League, Laufenn, a brand by Hankook Tire, will further increase its brand awareness in the important second-tier segment within the tire industry. With the start of the 2024/25 season, comes a new competition format that will bring added excitement with the introduction of the league phase and revamped knockout phase. 

In the first year of the new three-year sponsorship cycle, the 2024/25 UEFA Europa League season evolves from a 32-team group stage to a 36-team league phase, giving four more teams the opportunity to compete in this prestigious competition. Each team will play eight matches against eight different opponents in this phase—four home and four away. In the UEFA Conference League, the number of participants that will participate in a league phase will also increase to 36 clubs; however, each team plays six different opponents. Football fans, customers, and partners of Hankook and Laufenn will thus be able to watch the competition of 72 teams in total. In the league phase format, every match, goal, point, and position in the ranking counts, featuring top clashes right from the first match day.  

Various sponsorship rights and activations

Adding to the excitement of the new format and season are the various sponsorship rights and activations that Hankook Tire managed to secure in the UEFA Europa League and UEFA Conference League. Already well-known and successful initiatives such as the “referee mascots” will be used during the season and at the finals for fan engagement as well as CSR purposes, and frequently activated in partnership with the UEFA Foundation for Children (e.g. during the UEFA finals in Dublin and Athens in May 2024). In addition, numerous digital activities on UEFA and Hankook Tire’s channels will engage football fans across Europe, for instance by giving away premium tickets for all matches via the hankook.win microsite and giving lucky winners the opportunity to travel to an exciting European city to experience matches live at iconic European stadiums.  

Exclusive on-site rights such as the “Back Stadium Tour” provide customers and fans with unforgettable stadium experiences on match days. Hankook Tire will also continue its “Player of the Match” presentations after both finals. LED perimeter advertising and other familiar brand elements, such as media backdrops during TV interviews and press conferences, will further promote both brands, Hankook Tire and Laufenn, at every match. One of the key sponsorship objectives for Hankook Tire is to position itself as a global leader in EV tire technology and premium brand by showcasing Hankook Tire’s iON brand, the industry’s first full line-up tires developed specifically for electric vehicles, on perimeter board advertising at the venues as well as through digital activities.  

Paving the way for sustainability-driven innovation

Hankook Tire is paving the way for sustainability-driven innovation and will also emphasize this focus with its E.Circle strategy as part of the partnership. E.Circle aims to ensure the protection of the environment in tire technology by applying four practices: recycling, renewable energy, reuse and reduction. As part of E.Circle, Hankook Tire strives not only to develop eco-friendly and sustainable products but also to offer customers an optimal driving experience through a circular economy system throughout the product process. 

“It is a pleasure to continue our successful partnership with UEFA for another three years”, said Sanghoon Lee, President & COO of Hankook Tire Europe. “Football is the most popular and loved sport in Europe. Our sponsorship of both the UEFA Europa League and UEFA Conference League is a key element of our marketing strategy, aiming to further enhance the awareness and acceptance of Hankook and Laufenn in the European market. In particular, the significant brand exposure of Hankook Tire’s iON, premium tires exclusively developed for electric vehicles, will support our goal to be the world’s leading EV tire manufacturer.” 

“We are thrilled that Hankook, the UEFA Europa League’s longest-standing sponsor, will remain a partner for the next three seasons of both the UEFA Europa League and UEFA Conference League,” said Guy-Laurent Epstein, UEFA Marketing Director. “We look forward to building on the fruitful relationship that we have had for more than a decade to further elevate the fan experience while also driving forward our mutual commitment to community engagement.” 

Please view the excitement of the UEFA and Hankook Tire partnership over the last 12 years, here.


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