European sports have long been more receptive to sponsored intrusions than North American sports. Entire leagues in Europe even bear the names of sponsors. Ligue 1, the top flight in France, is officially “Ligue 1 Conforama,” due to a naming rights deal with a furniture store. Beginning in 2020, though, it’ll be Ligue 1 Uber Eats, and the new arrangement comes with a cringeworthy gimmick.
The league announced a two-year naming rights deal with the popular food deliver app on Wednesday that is reportedly worth nearly $17 million annually. That’s more than double what Conforama offered to re-up its deal, according to French sports newspaper L’Équipe.
And what exactly is Uber Eats paying for? Well, for one thing, an Uber Eats driver will deliver the ball to the referee before the start of every Ligue 1 game, L’Équipe reports.
I guess that means every game will start 15 minutes later than expected after the ref has to call the driver to tell him how to get to the stadium.