Inter’s Chinese connection reaps more rewards

Serie A club Inter Milan has signed yet another Chinese market deal, this time with the Chinese subsidiary of US boiler company A.O. Smith.

Inter’s China deals are the result of a major marketing push by Chinese owners Suning, which acquired the club in 2016.

According to Inter’s commercial subsidiary Inter Media and Communication SpA, Inter was paid €52.2m ($60.3m) by two Chinese media agencies for marketing and negotiating sponsorship agreements in Asia in 2017-18.

This year, Inter also made deals with FullShare, a Chinese tourism, education, renewable energy and real estate conglomerate; Lvmama.com, a Chinese tourism and leisure platform; and ceramics company Monalisa Tiles.

Inter also has active deals with the Changhong television group and Chinese-owned car maker SWM Motors.

Suning itself is paying Inter €16m per year for the club’s training uniform and training ground naming rights.

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The partnership is understood to be a three-season deal, from 2019-20 to 2021-22, and builds on AXA’s existing Global Partner agreement with Liverpool.

The deal is the largest ever sponsorship investment in UK women’s sport and comes less than a year after the league went fully professional in September 2018.

Under the five-year global deal, Oppo will become the first Official Smartphone Partner of The Championships, Wimbledon, as the event is officially known.

US sportswear brand Nike is paying about $7.5m (€6.7m) per year to sponsor China’s League of Legends Pro League (LPL), according to industry sources.