China solar company shines on World Cup
The advertiseing boards of Chinese sponsor Yingli Solar is placed alongside huge international companies McDonald's at a South African stadium. [File photo]
BEIJING - World Cup 2010 is no longer merely a sporting event. It has become a festival, a carnival for people in nine South African cities and fans worldwide.
Thousands of miles away, we are enjoying the excitement and disappointment even though only one factor actually has a China connection.
Thousands of Chinese fans in the stadiums in South Africa and millions in front of their TVs may have seen a Chinese sponsor on the billboards at every FIFA World Cup stadium.
China did not qualify for the World Cup but the country is still making an appearance in South Africa. An ambitious Chinese solar company, the country's first World Cup sponsor, has placed advertising in all the stadiums in a bid to give its brand a worldwide boost.
Yingli Solar is the first Chinese sponsor at the World Cup in the event's 80-year history and its signs are placed alongside huge international companies such as adidas, Coca-Cola and McDonald's.
Yingli Green Energy Co's sponsorship deal allows it to show its logo of Yingli Solar, in Chinese and English, on electronic perimeter boards at all 64 games of the World Cup. The Yingli slogan appears for 30 seconds at a time, totaling eight minutes in each game. Yingli also has the right to showcase its solar products near the stadiums.
The sponsorship also marks the first time Chinese characters have appeared at World Cup venues. It took Miao Liansheng, chairman of the Yingli Group Co Ltd, three months just to finalize the deal to make Chinese characters appear at the Cup venues.
"The World Cup comes at just the right time for us as a very good platform that can boost our brand awareness in every potential market around the globe with the help of FIFA," said Miao.
Yingli's World Cup connection started at the 2006 event in Germany when it provided solar products for the Kaiserslautern stadium. In 2007, Yingli China appeared on the jerseys of Spanish club Osasuna.
At next World Cup in Brazil, people will still see the four big Chinese characters of Yingli China at the stadiums.
"Our sponsorship is for two World Cups. But I would love to see Chinese players on the pitch as well as our Chinese Yingli signs," Miao said.
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