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Soccer - 04 Jun 2021
By Euan Cunningham
The sales agency contract between international sports and entertainment giant IMG and English soccer's Football Association for hospitality packages at London’s Wembley Stadium is to be terminated at the end of this year.
IMG has been working with the FA as the sales agency for Club Wembley, the stadium’s corporate membership and hospitality section in its middle tier, since the redeveloped national stadium opened in 2007, and indeed the two organisations first collaborated on the concept in 2001.
The decision to bring the relationship to an end on 31 December 2021 was a mutual one, IMG has said.
Wembley has been largely closed to fans for the last year, due to restrictions put in place because of the coronavirus pandemic, and Club Wembley packages not on offer.
Club Wembley members receive seats and premium hospitality at Wembley for matches including England’s home internationals, the FA Cup semi-finals and final, the League Cup final, and the season-opening Community Shield.
They also receive priority access to other events at the venue, including music concerts and NFL American football games.
Jordan Nicolson, vice-president and managing director of stadia and hospitality at IMG, said: "We are extremely proud of everything we have achieved in partnership with the FA over the last 20 years: conceptualising, launching, selling and managing the innovative Club Wembley programme, which played a pivotal role in funding the rebuild of the new Wembley Stadium in 2007 and has become a core part of the experience.”
Charlene Nyantekyi, Club Wembley’s general manager, added: “From our re-opening back in 2007, the successful series of pilot events hosted last month and the excitement of bringing back our Club Wembley members to the home of England soccer this August, IMG has been the driving force behind the sales of some of the stadium’s most memorable events."
IMG retains a relationship with the FA as the sales agent for international broadcast rights to the FA Cup in all territories excluding Western Europe, the Middle East and North Africa from 2018-19 to 2023-24.
In early 2019, IMG was appointed as the exclusive hospitality sales agent in the UK and Ireland for the Euro 2020 European Championships, including major matches at Wembley.
However, that tournament was delayed to this year because of the pandemic, and there are set to be limited capacities at most of the matches.
Earlier this week, a report in the UK's Guardian newspaper said that most hospitality packages for Euro 2020 games at Wembley remain unsold, with high availability for seven of the games, including the final on 11 July.
Hospitality tickets for the final cost as much as £7,800 ($11,065).
IMG can also sell hospitality packages to clients in the UK and Ireland for Euros matches in the other nine host cities.
The agency previously worked as a Uefa sales agent at Euro 2008 in Austria and Switzerland, the 2011 and 2013 Champions League finals at Wembley and at Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine.