The Alibaba Group has agreed a multi-year deal with Fifa for its Alibaba Cloud brand to become the presenting partner of the Fifa Club World Cup.
Starting from this year’s edition of the seven-team annual soccer tournament, which is due to take place between 6th and 16th December in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the global cloud computing company will design and provide the competition’s most valuable player award until 2022.
The announcement was made at the Alibaba Group’s computing conference in Guangzhou, China.
The Fifa Club World Cup currently features the champions of Fifa’s six continental confederations, as well as the host nation’s league winner, although the British and American media recently reported that soccer’s global governing body is considering expanding the tournament to 24 teams from 2021.
Iain Downie, Fifa’s director of marketing sales and strategy, said: “We are aware of the substantial value that Alibaba Cloud provides to business in terms of technical support and global reaching services. We can only see great potential in this fresh collaboration related to the Fifa Club World Cup.”
Simon Hu, senior vice president of the Alibaba Group and president of Alibaba Cloud, added: “As one of the world’s leading cloud computing providers, we are striving to make technology more inclusive to benefit more people’s day-to-day life and well-being.
“By becoming a major partner of the Fifa Club World Cup, we hope to show how our technology can bring new aspects of fun and enjoyment to fans of sports, including those people who might have had barriers to access or participate before. For Alibaba Cloud, this is the true meaning of inclusive technology.”
Teams already confirmed for this year’s Fifa Club World Cup include Mexican outfit Pachuca, Moroccan side Wydad Casablanca, New Zealand’s Auckland City, Al Jazira of the UAE and European champions Real Madrid, who will be looking to defend the title they won last year.
The Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) Champions League and South American Football Confederation’s (Conmebol) Copa Libertadores winners will also qualify once they are confirmed later this month.