Chinese conglomerate the Wanda Group has today (Friday) agreed a deal to become a top-tier partner of Fifa, the first major sponsorship agreement reached by world football’s governing body since Gianni Infantino replaced Sepp Blatter as president last month.
Wanda has become the first Chinese firm to sign up as a Fifa Partner, with the agreement granting it the highest level of sponsorship rights across a cycle which includes the next four editions of national team tournament the World Cup.
As part of its agreement, Wanda Group will have rights to all Fifa competitions and corporate activities up to and including the 2030 World Cup.
Through their partnership, Fifa said the Wanda Group will engage in numerous initiatives, with a strong focus towards grassroots football development in China and the Asian region.
Infantino said: “We are pleased to welcome the Wanda Group to Fifa. A company that has a long affiliation with football, has been an active supporter of the game for many years and shares our enthusiasm to develop and strengthen football.
“As Fifa president, I am committed to providing stronger support for football development to our member associations, and I believe that the relationship with Wanda will support us to continue the on-going development and growth of the game in China and all over the world.”
Wang Jianlin, chairman of the Wanda Group, added: “We are highly motivated to promote football across the country and to inspire a new generation of youngsters. The Chinese Government is committed to this development and as a company we strongly support these efforts. In order to professionally grow the existing grassroots movement into a sustainable and well managed sport, we are delighted to tap into the vast experience of the most competent advisor – Fifa. We believe in football as one of the most attractive sports globally and have the highest trust in Fifa and its newly established organisational structure under the lead of president Gianni Infantino.”
Wanda Group joins Adidas, Coca-Cola, Gazprom, Hyundai-Kia and Visa as a Fifa Partner.