AFC ends $3.4bn commercial partnership with FMA, seeks new agency

September 15 – The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has terminated its exclusive $3.4 billion commercial partnership with Football Marketing Asia (FMA) with immediate effect.

Signed in October 2018, the deal with DDMC Fortis was for the two commercial and broadcast rights cycles from 2021- 2028.

DDMC Fortis secured the contract after a 15-month tender process. DDMC Fortis was a joint venture between Fortis Sports, a Swiss-based sports marketing agency, and Chinese sports, media and entertainment company Wuhan DDMC Culture Co. which is listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

As the Chinese appetite for football began to wane, particularly as covid hit, so the rights holding entity changed to FMA, though the investors were largely the same. Now they are exiting just two years into the cycle.

An AFC statement said its decision “takes into careful consideration the new challenges and opportunities presented by the rapidly evolving post-pandemic commercial environment…

“The end of the exclusive partnership with FMA enables the AFC to explore new opportunities and collaborations that are better aligned with the current conditions, while securing its financial future for the long-term success of Asian football.”

The AFC said it is now in the process of appointing a new exclusive commercial partner for the 2023-2028 term with more details to be announced in due course.

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