FIFA Secures 8-Year Partnership With Alibaba Despite Ongoing Corruption Crisis

December 9, 2015

FIFA has signed its first sponsorship deal since the corruption scandal that has surrounded the organisation.

World football’s governing body has agreed an eight-year deal with Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba.

The deal will see Alibaba’s car manufacturing group, Alibaba E-Auto, sponsor the FIFA Club World Cup through 2022 as a presenting partner.

The sponsorship will begin with the 2015 Club World Cup, which will take place in Japan from Dec. 10-20.. 

Alibaba E-Auto will have a strong brand presence at both stadiums as well as through the global TV coverage. Alibaba E-Auto will present the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award at each match during the tournament, including the final match on 20 December.

FIFA Marketing Director Thierry Weil said: “We are delighted to welcome Alibaba E-Auto as Presenting Partner of the FIFA Club World Cup and are excited to be working closely with them to embark on a journey to reach fans across the world.

“We also hope to benefit from their innovation, and are looking forward to seeing what they can bring to the FIFA Club World Cup over the next eight years.”

Daniel Zhang, Alibaba Group CEO said: “Sports is at the intersection of Alibaba Group’s strategic themes of health and happiness, and we look forward to adding new value for participants and consumers in the sports sector through data-driven Internet technology.

“Partnering with a major sporting event with a global audience such as FIFA Club World Cup is also an important part of Alibaba Group’s globalization strategy for connecting China to the world.”

Weil has admitted it has been difficult for FIFA to keep and attract sponsors during its corruption scandal.

“It would be wrong for me to say yes, we have not faced difficulties,” Weil said.

“You can imagine in the given period and given circumstance with what’s going on at FIFA.

“It is not easy to sell. We are in discussions with different companies but we are also realistic to say this will not change before the reforms will be approved from the Congress and before a new president is elected on the 26th of February.”

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