File picture: Fabian Bimmer / Reuters.

BERLIN - the deal spans four years and takes in the European Championships in 2020, during which games will take place in 13 different countries to mark the 60th anniversary of the tournament.

The news comes just weeks after Volkswagen announced that it was succeeding Mercedes-Benz as main sponsor of the German football federation (DFB).

Volkswagen are also main sponsors of the German Cup, owners of Bundesliga club Wolfsburg and sponsors of second-division side Eintracht Braunschweig.

The company will be hoping for an image boost through its increasing involvement in football after a welter of bad publicity over the past two years following an emissions scandal.

In September 2015, Volkswagen admitted that it had installed instruments that cheated diesel emissions tests in more than 11 million vehicles worldwide.

- DPA