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How to sell football sponsorships to Chinese companies?

By QDaily, editing and translation by Yutang Sports Thursday, 21 May 2015 18:00

As China pays more attention to the development of football, Chinese corporations also start to pay more attentions to the sport, as sponsors and investors. Chinese brands have put their logos, messages and moneys in many places on the European continent. 

1. There are Chinese sponsors in each of the five European leagues. 

Europe is the absolute centre of football in the world. The five football leagues of Europe (the Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Ligue 1, Serie A) are the best in terms of game and commercial values. The Premier League, Bundesliga, and La Liga were especially preferred by brands in recent years. 

Chinese companies most often sponsor these leagues. There are at least 4 Chinese companies that have sponsored Bundesliga, six sponsoring the Premier League, and 12 being involved with La Liga. 

The influence of top teams is what attracts Chinese companies. Through sponsorship, Chinese companies hope to utilize high exposures of the teams. Apart from the top teams, less famous teams in these leagues are also welcomed by smaller Chinese companies who wish to gain exposure at an acceptable budget. 

2. There are different ways that Chinese brands do the sponsorships, including jersey sponsorships, kit sponsorships, advertisements in the stadium, and direct investments. 

Most Chinese companies do jersey sponsorships and advertisements in the stadium, because most companies do not have overseas businesses and their goal is to have exposures on TV broadcasts in China to create impacts on domestic market. 

Some want to connect their own products with sponsorships by providing clubs with these products. Xtep, Li-Ning, and ERKE as well as Huawei all prefer this method. 

Direct investment is less frequent than the other three methods for Chinese companies. It is more complicated to operate, and requires continuous investments. This is not easy and affordable for most companies. The only two cases up to now are Wanda and a financial group headed by Fujian companies. 

3. Huawei is the most active brand in football sponsorships

Huawei is the most active brand in overseas football investment. It started to sponsor European football teams from 2011 and reached agreements with teams of each of the five European leagues within three years and has partnerships with at least 11 teams around the world now. 

The teams Huawei sponsored includes: Arsenal, Atletico Madrid, Dortmund, AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain, Ajax Cape Town, Galatasaray Spor Kulubu, RSC Anderlecht, etc. 


When foreign football clubs discuss with Chinese companies about sponsorships, they should consider whether their assets and prices are suitable, given that Chinese companies may only want to get exposures on CCTV 5 and to pay associated prices. This is the unique condition of the Chinese clients.

This is an abridged translation version of the original article. Some opinions belong to Yutang Sports. 

Tags: football


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