March 10, 2014 / 5:47 PM / 4 years ago

Soccer-Ford slams brakes on Champions League sponsorship

LONDON, March 10 (Reuters) - U.S. automaker Ford is ending its sponsorship of the Champions League after more than two decades.

The partnership dates back to the 1992-93 season but will conclude with the final in Lisbon in May, European soccer’s governing body UEFA said on its website (www.uefa.org) on Monday.

Ford and other car companies have been faced with a shrinking market in Europe in recent years because of the impact of the financial crisis.

“Now is the right time for Ford to move in a new direction as we accelerate new product launches in Europe, with more than 25 new vehicles coming over the next five years,” said Stephen Odell, president of Ford Europe.

Brewer Heineken last year renewed its Champions League sponsorship in a deal that runs until 2018.

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