Chinese firm Hisense becomes Fifa World Cup sponsor

Electronics firm backs Russia 2018 as part of new deal with Fifa.

Chinese firm Hisense becomes Fifa World Cup sponsor

Consumer electronics company Hisense has become an official sponsor of the Russia 2018 Fifa World Cup as well as this year’s edition of the Fifa Confederations Cup.

The Chinese firm is now designated as the official television of the two tournaments and will have a range of in-stadium, digital and experiential marketing rights across both events.

Hisense, which joins Budweiser and McDonald’s as a World Cup partner, is no stranger to sports sponsorship. The company is already associated with the European qualifiers for Russia 2018 under a deal with Uefa that also saw it serve as a global sponsor of last year’s European Championship in France.

Hisense also has deals with tennis’s Australian Open, the Red Bull Racing Formula One team and German soccer club FC Schalke 04, among other properties. Financial terms of its Fifa deal have not been disclosed.

“Over the years, Hisense has earned a lot of experience and brand growth through sports sponsorships," said Hisense Group president Liu Hongxin.

“We are honoured to take on our biggest challenge yet with the FIFA 2018 World Cup, and believe it will vastly improve global awareness and economic value for Hisense as a truly international brand. The World Cup brings together the highest level of competition and prestige in football worldwide, making it the perfect platform for us to be a part of.”

The Hisense deal comes just over a year after Fifa signed a World Cup sponsorship deal with another Chinese company, Wanda Group, which entered into a four-tournament agreement that runs until 2030. It will also help boost Fifa's sponsorship income after five major backers, including Hisense rival Sony, opted not to renew their deals with the federation following the 2014 World Cup.

A joint statement said Hisense will 'offer its technical expertise and products' to Fifa throughout next year's World Cup, while it will also engage 'in a joint R&D initiative...to further push the boundaries of display technology.'

“Fifa is delighted to welcome Hisense on board as an official sponsor of the 2018 Fifa World Cup Russia," said Fifa secretary general Fatma Samoura. "We look forward to working with them to promote the competition, particularly in China, where the company is a market leader in consumer electronics, and where the popularity of football continues to grow.”

This year’s Fifa Confederations Cup, the tenth edition of the eight-nation event, is due to take place in Russia from 17th June to 2nd July, while next year’s World Cup kicks off on 14th June 2018.