December 20 – FIFA has added a fifth sponsor for the Russia 2018 World Cup, the third from China. Chinese dairy products manufacturer the Mengniu Group will be designated the Official drinkable yoghurt and pre-packaged ice cream.
As part of the deal Mengniu will also be the Official milk and powdered milk of the FIFA World Cup for Greater China. Mengniu joins fellow Chinese businesses Hisense and VIVO as a 2018 sponsor. Budweiser and McDonald’s are also World Cup Sponsors.
World Cup Sponsors are the second tier of FIFA’s commercial advertising platform, the top tier being FIFA Partners who have signed up with longer term deals with the governing body and its competitions. There are seven FIFA Partners with China’s Wanda being one of them, the others being Adidas, Coca-Cola, Gazprom, Hyundai, Qatar Airways and VISA.
Chinese businesses now make up four of FIFA’s 12 main sponsorships.
As part of its sponsorship the Mengniu Group will branding on all key promotional platforms, including FIFA’s digital channels, LED boards, and match tickets.
Mengniu Group chief executive Jeffrey Lu (pictured right) said: “We have an opportunity to reach an even bigger global market and, more importantly, to showcase the Chinese dairy industry to the whole world.”
The announcement was made in the China National Convention Centre in Beijing by Lu and FIFA chief commercial officer Philippe Le Floc’h (pictured left). No figure was given for the deal.
Le Floc’h said: “Growing the game worldwide is one of our key priorities, and we now have another strong official sponsor in such an important region. Naturally we will also benefit from the fact that Mengniu’s business appeals to children and youngsters, giving us the opportunity to engage with a new generation of football fans.”
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