Chinese sponsors have taken a place in the sun at the European Championships

Chinese sponsors have taken a place in the sun at the European Championships

In the front row is Tiktok. And then other names in technology: from Alipay fintech to Hisense appliances, already sponsor of the 2016 edition

(Photo: LaPresse) Global prestige, wide and immediate visibility, appeal on new markets to explore: Chinese companies jump on stage for Europeans to enhance their marketing. There are four companies of the Dragon that are supporting the competition, in progress between 11 June and 11 July and postponed by one year due to Covid-19, placing their brands (all from the tech world) on the billboards on the sidelines or on the background panels used in interviews with players and coaches. TikTok (official sponsor), Alipay and Vivo thus follow the example of HiSense, the first Chinese company ever to have ever sponsored a European football club in the last edition.

In 2016 the unique viewers were 2 billion in all over the world, during the 51 games (same formula as this year) played in France (then Portugal won). The opportunity to exploit the media leverage is greedy and functional to the objectives of HiSense, which had a turnover of 23.5 billion dollars in 2020 and declares that it wants to generate half from abroad by 2025, from where it collected last year 7.93 billion. The Qingdao company that produces consumer electronics has been pushing the European market for ten years, meanwhile it has already sponsored the 2018 FIFA World Cup and signed an agreement for the 2022 one in Qatar.

Alipay has also moved forward in the world of football. The fintech of giant Ant Group started an 8-year collaboration with UEFA in 2018, which included Euro 2020 and Euro 2024 (to be organized by Germany). The agreement for the current edition is worth 200 million euros according to the Financial Times. Hugely popular in China, Alipay wants to build a global brand after trying to work with merchants from other countries, using Chinese tourists as a vector of the payments application, used at home by 730 million users a day, until the epidemic from coronavirus has not interrupted the strategy.

Among the official sponsors there is also Vivo, which claims to have 400 million users in over 50 countries and in the first quarter of 2021 it reached a world share of 10% on market equal to 35.5 million devices delivered between January and March. Almost twice as much as two years ago, when smartphones sold were 18.9 million and the share of business was worth 5% globally, according to Counterpoint. Another injection of Chinese money for UEFA comes from iQiyi, a streaming platform owned by Baidu, which has purchased the rights for the live broadcast, while the state broadcaster CCTV takes care of it on TV. IQiyi's subscription growth remained under 100 million users, and closed the first quarter at a loss of $ 193.4 million, Cnbc reports.

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