UEFA has announced that Japanese sports ball manufacturer the Molten Corporation has signed a new three-year licencing agreement to continue as the official match ball supplier of the UEFA Europa League.
As part of the deal, which will run from 2021 until 2024, Molten will also be providing the official match ball for the newly created UEFA Europa Conference League, which gets under way in July. The official match balls will be used from the group stage in both competitions.
“We are delighted to extend our excellent relationship with Molten as the official match ball supplier of the UEFA Europa League,” said UEFA marketing director Guy-Laurent Epstein. “In addition, we are excited that Molten will supply official match balls for the newly created UEFA Europa Conference League. Molten is a trusted match ball supplier of the highest quality and will be key to the success of the UEFA Europa League and UEFA Europa Conference League in the 2021–2024 seasons.”
Molten, who have been the official match ball supplier for the UEFA Europa League since 2018/19, will continue to provide high-quality products with technological innovations which will benefit the football community.
“Molten feels privileged to announce our continued partnership with the UEFA Europa League. We are also thrilled to announce an additional partnership with UEFA by becoming the official match ball supplier for the UEFA Europa Conference League,” said Kiyo Tamiaki, president and CEO of Molten Corporation.
“We are honoured to have the opportunity to provide our highest quality footballs to these internationally renowned club competitions, thanks to the support of UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin and everyone involved who has made these partnerships possible.”
With the introduction of the UEFA Europa Conference League from next season, the UEFA Europa League will undergo a number of changes. The group stage will be reduced from 48 to 32 teams – eight groups of four. The eight group winners progress automatically to the round of 16.
A total of 184 teams will be involved over the course of the season in the UEFA Europa Conference League including at least one from each of the 55 associations and 46 clubs transferring from either the UEFA Champions League or UEFA Europa League. There will be eight groups of four teams, followed by knockout round play-offs, the round of 16, quarter-finals, semi-finals and final.
Molten is the second brand to commit to sponsoring the UEFA Europa League and UEFA Europa Conference League for the 2021–24 cycle, following a similar announcement by Heineken 0.0 in August 2020.