inside
The employee magazine
of the Volkswagen brand

Company

The people’s sport, the people’s car

Guy-Laurent Epstein, UEFA Events SA Marketing Director,

explains why football and Volkswagen go hand in hand.

Since the beginning of the year, the Volkswagen brand has been a partner of UEFA, the Union of European Football Associations, thus continuing its long-standing football tradition. Under a four-year contract as "Official Mobility Partner of UEFA National Team Football", the company will also be supporting the UEFA 2020 European Football Championship, which is taking place in twelve countries for the first time to mark the 60th anniversary of the competition.

This engagement in the world's most popular sport will mainly serve as a communication platform for the market launch of the I.D., which will be the face of Volkswagen's new e-mobility family from 2020 onward.

But what does UEFA expect from the partnership? Inside talked to Marketing Director Guy-Laurent Epstein.

Mr. Epstein, please explain to our employees why your association and the Volkswagen brand fit so well together?

Quite simply, Volkswagen is the car of the people and football the game of the people. For that reason, the partners are a perfect match for each other. However, there are other similarities: Volkswagen and UEFA are market leaders in their fields – UEFA in football, Volkswagen in the automotive sector. As well as this, both partners have ambitious and innovative ideas for the future.

Like UEFA hosting the 2020 European Championship in twelve countries across Europe?

Yes, that’s right. On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of this competition, we bring football to the people – not the other way around. We have games all over Europe, from Dublin to Baku and Amsterdam to Bilbao. The European Championship takes place in countries that would not be able to host such a big tournament on their own.

What role does mobility play in such a tournament?

Mobility is the key to success at such large events. On the one hand it’s important for the logistics, on the other hand for fans coming to and from the stadium. That’s why we also want to meet the highest standards of mobility – and of all other areas too. We’re looking forward to Volkswagen’s support and are proud to have such a big European brand with such a genuine passion for football by our side.

Beyond the sponsorship, what personal relationship do you have with the Volkswagen brand?

My generation has grown up with the Beetle, the Golf and the Passat. Volkswagen has always set standards in terms of quality. The Golf GTI was the car of the young people who wanted to have fun and it is still the same today.

As a Frenchman, your first car must have been a Peugeot, right?

(laughs) No. My first car was Italian, an Autobianchi. At the moment, I drive a Golf and I was recently at the Volkswagen dealer because I want to buy a new model.

The European Championship 2020 is only part of the partnership with Volkswagen. What else does this partnership involve?

The partnership includes all national team competitions: the European Women's Championship, the European Under-21 Championship, the Futsal EURO and the newly created UEFA Nations League finals. As you can see, Volkswagen is getting a large platform for presenting the brand and its cars.

How do you track the VfL Wolfsburg from afar?

Oh, I’m not that far away. It’s only on the other side of the border. I’ve been following VfL Wolfsburg for a while, because there are always French players under contract. Currently there is Josuha Guilavogui. VfL has been a fixture in the Bundesliga for many years. This is an excellent performance, considering that Wolfsburg is a small town. Talking about VfL Wolfsburg, I would also like to mention the women's team. Excellent work has been done there for years. I really appreciate that, because as UEFA we care about the development of women's football.

It is slightly over two years until the European Championship 2020. How are preparations going?

We are fully on schedule. But I also have to say that we started the preparations extremely early. Organizing a tournament in twelve different countries in twelve different cities is something very special.