Suning has revealed details of its partnership with European soccer heavyweight FC Barcelona, but they’re nowhere near the big step for Chinese football that general manager Li Bin told us about.
On Wednesday, the e-tailer released a list of areas in which it will cooperate with the ball club but only one has something to do with the future of Chinese football.
The deal makes Suning one of the official sponsors of FC Barcelona. It can use its logo and trademark and have the right to co-organize certain activities.
Also, the group will set up a dedicated channel for FC Barcelona in its online video streaming platform PPTV where fans can watch exclusive matches.
Suning Commerce took over PPTV last year. Its strength lies in live broadcasts of sports events. With a demographic that overlaps its target audience, PPTV is expected to boost customer loyalty.
FC Barcelona, on the other hand, will help introduce its other sponsors such as Nike to Suning’s new outdoor sports online business.
Suning will build an official FC Barcelona interactive platform in China where its fans can get related information and download pictures of the team.
In addition, Suning will organize a series of tryout games in China, giving talented young football players a chance to be trained in Camp Nou, home of FC Barcelona.
The partnership will clearly create hype for Suning, especially as they were announced just days before the World Cup kick-off. And with Suning’s name emblazoned on FC Barcelona uniforms, Suning can get its brand out to the world.
Online betting company Bwin was an FC Barcelona sponsor. Because its name was printed on the back of the club uniform, most Chinese football fans are now aware of the gaming firm.
In fact, some Barcelona fans said Suning should have done the deal earlier. Sponsoring a popular football club has a much bigger impact than TV advertising, they said.
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