While some companies might be counting the cost of their employees being distracted over the next few weeks by the Euro 2012 football championship, the Union of European Football Associations (Uefa) is actually promoting the matches as meeting places for the business world.
Uefa has been selling special packages to corporate guests under a hospitality programme called Club Prestige to generate extra revenue. The packages cost from €1,450 (Dh6,689) per guest for one match to €23,900 for all the matches in either Poland or Ukraine, the co-hosts of the championship.
The tournament kicks off today in Warsaw.
"During the summer of 2012, eight stadiums in Europe will become a meeting place for some of the world's most influential people and businesses," Uefa says.
More than 1.4 million spectators are expected in the stadiums, and the matches are to be broadcast live in more than 200 countries and territories.
Magdalena Mazany-Krasnodebska, Uefa's commercial manager, says the championship is "an ideal opportunity for businessmen from the UAE to make business contacts, entertain clients and develop relationships with partners from different industries and countries".
Potential clients have two options. The Club Prestige Platinum option gives access to a private skybox, while Club Prestige Gold allows access to an open hospitality business lounge before and after matches. Games can be watched from prime seats in the stadiums.
"Additional entertainment is provided prior to the matches including live music and participation in interactive games that will make guests feel like the footballers or sports commentators themselves," Uefa says. Gourmet food will also be served.