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Chinese Dairy Giant in Talks with Fifa about Sponsoring World Cup 2022

03 April 2019

QATAR - China’s second biggest dairy producer said it is in talks with football’s governing body about sponsoring the World Cup in Qatar in 2022 as it strives to boost its brand and gain the edge over rivals.

China Mengniu Dairy was an official sponsor of last year’s World Cup competition in Russia, investing 1 billion yuan (US$149 million), a move that greatly increased brand recognition and revenue, according to chief executive Lu Minfang.

"Sports have always been our interest and we will continue with that. We are in talks with Fifa to sponsor the next World Cup," said Mr Lu after announcing the company’s financial results in Hong Kong on Thursday.

"Through online and offline activities, we invested about 1 billion yuan in different segments [of the 2018 World Cup]. It is quite important to our brand, and it increased our profit.

"Last year, even though we did not offer any discounts, sales still grew 14 per cent. This is a very strong growth. In previous years, we had to offer discounts and still could not achieve that level of growth. That is very obviously down to the branding effect."

The World Cup sponsorship helped Mengniu generate revenue of 68.98 billion yuan in 2018, up 14.7 per cent from the previous year.

It enjoyed the exclusive rights to sell yoghurt drinks and ice cream in the stadiums, and created several special-edition products, including football-shaped ice creams. Fronting its World Cup advertising campaign was none other than Lionel Messi, arguably the world’s greatest player.

Chinese companies dominated the official sponsorship of the 2018 World Cup – Mengniu was joined by smartphone giant Vivo and fridge maker Hisense as three of the tournament’s five sponsors.

The collaboration with Fifa forms part of Mengniu’s overseas business expansion strategy, which has generated high double-digit growth in exports of its products for the last five years.

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Source: South China Morning Post

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