Chinese brands tap soccer to shine in Europe

2024-07-08 12:10:39China Daily Editor : Mo Honge ECNS App Download

Chinese brands dominate perimeter advertisements during a Euro 2024 match in Munich, Germany. (CHINA DAILY)

As Euro 2024 nears its grand finale in Germany on Sunday, it is not just soccer players who are involved in pitched battles of the sporting kind — advertisers, sponsors, marketing whizzes and brands, including several Chinese labels, are all vying to create maximum impact. The strong presence of Chinese companies among the major sponsors is expected to resonate with consumers in Europe.

According to UEFA's official website, there are 13 global partners for this year's tournament and, remarkably, five of them are Chinese companies: BYD, Vivo, Hisense, Alipay and AliExpress.

This marks a historical record, as Chinese firms now occupy over a third of the sponsorship slots. This represents significant growth from 2016 when Hisense was the sole Chinese sponsor. Vivo and Alipay have been involved since 2020, highlighting the increasing international competitiveness and influence of Chinese enterprises.

The participation of these five Chinese companies in this year's tournament signifies a new milestone in the history of Chinese sponsorship of major international sporting events, experts said.

Chinese companies are eager to expand their international presence and bank on such events to boost their brands among local consumers.

"For Chinese companies with global strategies, sports marketing is a vital accelerator for enhancing brand influence and international development," said Jiang Han, a senior researcher at the Beijing-based think tank Pangoal Institution.

Chinese companies' participation goes beyond monetary investments, as they also provide valuable products, services, content and technologies to support the tournament.

BYD, for instance, is offering green transportation solutions with its electric vehicles, serving as the official car for the tournament. Vivo, as the official smartphone partner, is supplying flagship smartphones to event staff. Alipay is facilitating convenient payment solutions for fans and staff as the official payment platform, while AliExpress is providing exclusive discounts and interactive games for fans, enhancing their experience with the chance to win match tickets.

Zhou Yongduan, general manager of overseas product development at Vivo, said, "Our partnership with UEFA allows us to enhance the user experience by enabling everyone to enjoy the beautiful game and capture their most cherished memories."

"The exciting game brings people all around the world together ... we want to fuel that passion by enabling users to become storytellers of this unforgettable journey," Zhou said. "We'll continue to develop the cutting-edge technologies that advance mobile photography and ensure that everyone can be a storyteller of their own experiences, with one single tap."

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