Expedia’s logo is to appear on the shirts of all professional soccer referees from next season after the online travel agency signed a one-year deal to become the official sponsor of the company representing match officials.
Expedia, the world’s largest online travel company, has signed a deal to become the Official Sponsor of Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMO). The deal will see the Expedia brand appear on the shirts of match officials at the Barclays Premier League, the npower Football League, The FA Cup with Budweiser, the Capital One Cup and other domestic, professional matches.
The one year sponsorship kicks off on Sunday 12th August, at the Community Shield at Villa Park. The partnership gives Expedia access to over 2,500 professional football matches, with an estimated cumulative global TV audience in excess of five billion.
Andrew Warner, Senior Marketing Director of Expedia EMEA said: “We’re proud to be the new sponsors of match officials. As the world’s largest online travel company it seemed logical to associate with a sport that has a truly global audience. Travel represents one of the biggest online purchases an individual can make and this partnership celebrates the fact that, at its heart, Expedia supports good decision making. At Expedia we have helped travellers make good decisions for over fifteen years and welcome the newly formed association with some of the highest profile decision makers from the world of sport.”
PGMO General Manager Mike Riley said: “We are very pleased to welcome Expedia as PGMO’s new official sponsor, the support of partners significantly helps in the training and development of officials at all levels of the game.We have a world class team of decision makers in the Select Group, which is why there have been over 80 FIFA and UEFA international appointments for Select Group referees in the past year. We are also one of only three European nations with three Elite FIFA referees: Howard Webb and Martin Atkinson have respectively taken charge of UEFA Champions League and Europe League semi- finals, and now we have Mark Clattenburg officiating the Olympic Men’s Final. With the standard of officiating improving season on season, it’s a good time for Expedia to partner with us.”
Expedia, which offers access to 300 airlines and almost 155,000 hotels together with advanced tools to help travellers make the right decisions, will use additional marketing spend to reinforce the positive impact of good decision making, highlighting how online travel technology has empowered people to take control of their own travel experiences. Through the partnership Expedia hopes to connect with customers and highlight how it can help people to make the right travel decisions for their unique needs.
The partnership delivers a range of designation and promotional rights, including shirt and training-wear branding on all professional match referees, assistant referees and fourth officials, branding and accreditation on all publicity material, PGMO and all governing body websites, as well as match official and refereeing inventory.
Dan Lynn, CEO of Expedia in Asia said: “Expedia is one of the few truly global businesses in travel with local sites for travellers across the world. In addition to activating the PGMO sponsorship in Europe, we’ll also focus on Asia where there is a great cross over between the Expedia customer base and the football supporting community. This partnership is a very powerful global brand opportunity for us.”
PGMO plays an active role in developing refereeing standards across the world of football. Currently PGMO has a knowledge transfer programme that benefits entire confederations, such as the Asian Football Confederation who have a future referees project supported by PGMO, as well as individual football associations in Japan, Australia, Iceland, New Zealand, Canada and Major league Soccer in the United States, who work in partnership with PGMO to improve the performance of their own officials. PGMO also works with the British Council on the Premier Skills coaching initiatives and has provided coaches to train over 300 grassroot referees and assistant referees in 14 countries across Africa, China, South East Asia and Mexico.
“We see this as an opportunity to work with the professional game, highlighting match officials as role models and respected decision makers. There will be plenty of opportunities for our customers around the world to get involved with the partnership too” added Warner.