Two more Chinese brands, technology and entertainment company Luci and mens clothing brand Diking, have signed on as sponsors for the 2018 Fifa World Cup.
The two Chinese companies have signed on as Asian Regional Supporters for the global sporting event, just days before the tournament kicks off in Russia.
Luci and Diking join a large contingent of Chinese brands sponsoring the global sporting event including smartphone giant Vivo, property and entertainment giant Wanda, electronics brand Hisense and dairy brand Mengniu.
China is heavily committed to the world cup, despite not fielding a team in the event. A recent report predicted China will contribute $835m in extra advertising expenditure around the event.
China’s commitment to the event is part of the country’s growing fascination with the game, following comments by President Xi Jinping who wants China to become a football superpower by 2050.
Football has been a major area of focus for the Chinese Government, which aims to improve football skills within the country, in a bid to help its plans to host and ultimately win a Fifa World Cup within the next 15 years.
China has invested significantly in football, working with Adidas to foster grassroots leagues, as well as encouraging companies to sponsor the sport and teams, particularly within the Chinese Super League.
The increased investment has seen a surge in popularity with increased interest in broadcasting rights as well as attracting larger marketing investment from the European football clubs and leagues.
Fifa head of sales Franck Guignery, said the sponsorship deals were “another strong sign of the increasing popularity of football in Asia and the global appeal of FIFA’s biggest event”.
The deals provide Chinese brands with a global platform to help bolster awareness of their brands in new markets.
Lv Qi, vice president, Diking said the deal builds on the brand’s “long tradition of sports marketing” as the company already sponsors a number of football clubs.
“Being a regional supporter of the Fifa World Cup is a key step of our sports marketing strategy. We all know that the Fifa World Cup is the most influential football event around the world, which fits the premium positioning of Diking.”
Sponsor LUCI aims to leverage the sponsorship to help expand the company’s focus beyond entertainment to provide an “immersive viewing experience” for the sports industry.