How Big is the UEFA Champions League?

7 minute read · Issue Number 67 · May 7th, 2021

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This week, I was inspired by watching Chelsea (the team I support) stun Real Madrid for a ticket to the UEFA Champions League Final.

“How about I learn more about that competition,” — I thought to myself; — “I should write Friday’s article about it!” — anyways, here we go:

UEFA Champions League

The UEFA Champions League is the premier club competition in European football and one of the most high-profile in professional sports.

The reasons?

For instance, according to UEFA, over €2 billion was distributed to the clubs who participated in the 2019-20 tournament. In addition, the winning team was eligible to take home as much as €82,400,000 in total prize money.

Remember how the NCAA pays colleges in March Madness according to how further their team advances? Champions League does the same thing:

Last week we dived into the financials of Manchester United and realized how their revenues dropped because they failed to participate in the Champions League. This explains why teams put the competition on the highest of their priorities YoY.

The first time this tournament took place was in 1956 as the ‘European Champion's Club Cup,’ contested by European league winners only.

Since then, the format of the competition has evolved. A lot.

Initially, 16 clubs entered in the first round from 15 different nations.

The "Champions League" brand exists since 1992, and non-title winning clubs were first invited in 1997.

The current format consists of eight groups of four teams playing in a round-robin format, with the top two teams advancing to the round of 16.

Recently, UEFA announced they would implement a new format starting from the 2024/25 season.

How will it work?

Check out this excellent 4-minute video explaining it:

Now, let me ask you — what event you think is bigger: Super Bowl or UCL Final?

Allow me to blow your mind:

According to this website, Champions League has +3X the viewership of the Super Bowl!!!!!

Putting things into perspective, UCL is a big deal (like, for real) – and now I understand why the European Super League is such a dramatic proposal.

Yes, Europe's elite clubs and the world's best players routinely competing against each other create so much value — we get it.

Nevertheless, should UEFA focus on supplying the demands of the elite clubs, or should they create a more "competitive" competition, regulate financial rewards, and create representation from a greater range of member nations?

We’ll see…

🎙 Halftime Snack of the Week

The Marketplace for Athletes’ Gears

In this week's episode, I chat with KJ Bryant – co-founder of NARP Clothing.

KJ is also a former NCAA baseball player from Clemson and College of Charleston.

In our snack, we talked about his inspiration to start this business, applied technology, opportunities and experiences created by NARP, its business model, and so much more.

Grab a beer/coffee/chips/quesadilla or your favorite snack, and come snack with us!

Listen on Apple | Spotify | Google

Check out the transcript here.


🎤 Clubhouse’s First Mover Disadvantage; Evan Kirkham – former guest of the Halftime Snacks – wrote this piece about social audio. Besides the incredible insights, his writing style is superb. Check it out!

📺 NBC to Launch Olympics Twitch Channel for Interactive Games; The longtime Olympics broadcaster and Twitch's streaming platform will deliver interactive live content before and during the Tokyo Games.

🚗 Inside NASCAR’s Next-Gen Cars: These Crash Tests Aren’t for Dummies; When the car hits the track at next year’s Daytona 500, the most important question will be: Is it safe?

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Until next week,

Ronen Ainbinder

Twitter: @Ronenain
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