FIFA sings China’s Vivo as new sponsor

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ZURICH: Chinese smartphone maker Vivo has signed on to sponsor the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, FIFA said Wednesday (Thursday in Manila), adding to a string of deals between Chinese firms and football’s governing body.FIFA has suffered financial hits in the wake of damaging corruption scandals, sparking concern that its tarnished brand would struggle to attract new partners.

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But the organization has assured that its showcase tournament would continue to be a huge moneymaker.

The Vivo contract was signed in Beijing on Wednesday between the company’s vice president Ni Xudong and FIFA secretary general Fatma Samoura.

A FIFA statement announcing the deal did not disclose terms but the Financial Times put its value at $450 million (400 million euros) over six years.

The pact deepens FIFA’s ties to China, following deals with conglomerate Wanda and electronics company Hisense.

FIFA lost major sponsors Sony and Emirates in November 2014 after the World Cup in Brazil but has regained some lost support, including through a recently announced deal with Qatar Airways.

Last month, FIFA announced a $369 million loss for 2016, a second straight annual deficit and acknowledged it had spent a huge chunk of its reserves in the past year.

But it said it was still on track to make $1.1 billion in profits in 2018, a World Cup year, which would give a surplus of about $100 million for the organization’s four-year accounting cycle.

AFP

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