Vivo becomes official World Cup sponsor until 2023

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Editor’s note: A version of this post first appeared on Yicai Global, the English-language financial news service of Shanghai Media Group. Yicai Global is one of just two dedicated Chinese news feeds connected to the Bloomberg terminal.

China’s smartphone maker Vivo will become an official sponsor of the FIFA World Cups 2018 and 2022 to be held in Russia and in Qatar, respectively, announced Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and mobile phone maker Vivo Mobile Communications Co. in a press conference in Beijing yesterday.

As the sponsor, Vivo’s logo will appear during World Cup finals on pitch advertising boards, match tickets, press conference backdrops and other key occasions. FIFA will also arrange special marketing activities for Vivo, such as inviting fans to test use Vivo phones for taking photos during pre-match warm-ups. Vivo will also gradually introduce customized FIFA World Cup phone products.

Vivo is the fourth Chinese enterprise that sponsors World Cup following Yingli Solar, Wanda Group, and Hisense. Among the four Chinese World Cup partners, Wanda is a top-level sponsor, while the other three are second-level ones, reported caixin.com. The brand director of Vivo Deng Li refused to disclose the amount paid for the sponsorship, claiming it is a trade secret of the company, while Hisense reportedly spent nearly USD100 million in April to sponsor 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, it added.

Vivo makes efforts to expand overseas market by sports marketing. In October 2015, it became the title sponsor for the Indian Premier League; in June 2016, it was presented as NBA partner in Chinese official market, and also launched a customized phone for Golden State Warriors’ NBA star Stephen Curry.

Vivo’s shipments of phones in the first quarter of this year totaled 18.1 million to occupy 5.2 percent share of the global market, an increase of 23.6 percent, compared with 4.4 percent in the same period last year, show data by marketing research institute IDC.