English Premier League football club West Bromwich Albion has named Chinese eco-town development company Palm as its new principal sponsor.
The deal will initially cover the 2017-18 season. Palm’s branding will feature on the front of the club’s shirts as part of the agreement.
Palm has close links to West Brom’s controlling shareholder Guochuan Lai, whose Yuni Guokai (Shanghai) Sports group completed its takeover of the club last year. The agreement made West Brom the first Premier League club to be controlled by an owner from mainland China.
Palm, which was co-founded by Lai, will replace Chinese online casino company K8 Group as West Brom’s shirt sponsor. K8 Group agreed a two-season deal with the club in May 2016 but the partnership has been ended a year early.
West Brom said that the deal with Palm would aid the club’s commercial growth in Asia.
Lin Congxiao, chief executive of Palm Eco-Town Development, said: “The partnership with Albion is not only a key element in the industrial layout and strategic transformation and upgrade of the ‘Eco-Town +’ project of Palm Eco–Town Development Co. Ltd, but also a carrier of the dream of our company to promote football culture and contribute to the development of China’s football.
“I believe that the partnership will certainly bring brilliant and broad prospects for the development of both parties.”