Inter, Suning, Kweichow Moutai partner for co-branded baiju

Chinese liquor company Kweichow Moutai and Italian Serie A club Inter Milan have signed a new partnership to produce a co-branded baijiu, a clear Chinese spirit distilled from fermented sorghum.

Kweichow Moutai has been an official sponsor for Inter Milan since 2018, and launched the new drink earlier this week with a public tasting event, and Inter Milan players Dalbert Henrique and Valentino Lazaro participated in fan engagement activities.

Feng Wei, general manager of Kweichow Moutai, said to Xinhuanet: “2019 is the year Kweichow Moutai is aiming to cross 100bn yuan in sales, and we will seize this opportunity with Suning and Inter Milan to try to reach that target with this new collaboration.”

Read more: Suning promises increased investment in sport as it launches Premier League partnership

Inter Milan is owned by Suning, one of the largest retailers in China, and the co-branded baijiu will be sold at Suning Tesco stores.

Kweichow Moutai is a partial publicly traded, partially state-owned enterprise in China, specialising in the production and sales of Maotai liquor. It has been listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange since 2001, and is valued at around $142bn (€127bn).

The Inter Milan partnership follows reports that Kweichow Moutai is also considering a sponsorship deal with Argentinian football team River Plate, and visited the club in mid-April with a delegation led by brand president and general manager Li Baofang.

Read more: Chinese liquor giant Kweichow Moutai keen on River Plate shirt sponsorship

Suning also announced this week a new strategy to use football to increase in-store sales.

Dang Yi, vice-president of Suning Sports Group’s Product Centre, said: “We have seen the value of high-viscosity relationships between viewers of sports content in the retail market, and aim to build a comprehensive link to consumers through sports events.”

Sun Weimin, the chief executive of Suning, said: “Commerce and football, this is Suning’s real area of expertise.”