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FC Barcelona and the Suning Company have announced a sponsorship agreement today that makes China’s biggest retail chain for electronic and technology goods the Club’s first ever Chinese sponsor. Today’s presentation of the two years with an option top one more agreement in the Chinese city of Nanjing was attended by the Director General of FC Barcelona, Antoni Rossich, the Vice-president of the Suning Group, Sun Weiming and his executive vice-president, Li Bin.
Suning thus becomes the first Chinese sponsor in FC Barcelona history. More than a mere sponsorship agreement, however, it is a strategic partnership that also involves a series of social and sporting projects. These include the promotion of sport among young Chinese people. In addition to typical benefits in such areas as marketing, image association rights and digital assets, Suning is planning to set up football camps and tournaments to foster the game in different Chinese cities. The winners of these competitions will enter a draw to win a trip to Barcelona to visit the Club and meet the first team players.
This is not the first time that Suning has been involved in promoting sport. The company has always been one of the Chinese Government’s closest allies in campaigns to promote sport at schools. Suning was a main sponsor of the Youth Olympic Games, the IOC’s event for athletes aged between 14 and 18 years, the second edition of which is being hosted this year by the city of Nanjing.
Another important aspect of this deal is directly aimed at fans. The agreement makes Suning an official partner of FC Barcelona’s fan base in China. Among other projects, this will involve the launch of a Barça microsite on the official Suning website, designed to be the meeting point for FCB supporters around the country. Fans will also be able to use this channel to purchase top quality Barça branded sports products.
Suning, Commercial leader in China
Suning Commerce, founded in 1990 in the city of Nanjing, China, and with a staff of 180,000 is one of the biggest privately-owned commercial retail companies in the country. In July 2004, Suning was listed for the first time on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, and its market value is among the highest in the world for its sector. For further information about Suning, see: http://www.suning.cn
Statements from the Director General of FC Barcelona, Antoni Rossich, and the vice-president of the Suning Group, Sun Weiming
Rossich: “It’s a big step closer to our Chinese fans”
“I would like to express my gratitude and excitement that Suning has become the first Chinese sponsor in FC Barcelona history. Personally, I am convinced that the partnership between Suning and FC Barcelona is a big step forward for the Club and brings us closer to our Chinese fans, creating successful synergies between the two organisations”.
Weiming: “La Masia fits perfectly with Suning’s innovative strategy”
“Barça has until now been one of the most successful football clubs in Europe and the world, and is the flagship team for class and skill. Its youth training system has produced global stars like Messi, Xavi and Iniesta, and has created the Masia brand. This fits perfectly with Suning’s strategic concept of transforming high technology, focused on innovative retail methods and corporate culture”.
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