China may not be sending a side to Qatar, but Chinese businesses will have top billing as sponsors at the 2022 World Cup.
China’s sponsors have ponied up $1.395bn for the competition, which runs from November 20-December 18, surpassing the $1.1bn spent by US companies, according to GlobalData, a London-based data analytics and consulting company.
China’s corporate dominance at the competition reflects the aspirations of its brands to expand their recognition overseas to a level that matches their growing size and reach.
The rise of Chinese sponsors also parallels President Xi Jinping’s dream of turning China, which made its sole World Cup appearance in 2002, into a football powerhouse through ambitious plans and targets, such as increasing the number of schools with football pitches 10-fold by 2025.
While the four Chinese sponsors of the 2022 World Cup — Wanda Group, Vivo, Mengniu Dairy and Hisense — have relatively low profiles outside their home country, they are huge enterprises with multibillion-dollar revenues and thousands of employees.
For all the latest updates and news, visit CxO Global FORUM.