BEIJING, CHINA and NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwired) -- 02/21/14 -- IMG Worldwide, the strategic partner of the Chinese Super League Co. Ltd (CSL), said today, the CSL announced that China's Ping An Insurance has become the new title sponsor of the Chinese Super League. The four-year (2014-2018) deal sets a record as the longest title sponsorship contract in CSL's history, making Ping An the first CSL title sponsor from the financial sector.
At a press conference held in Beijing today, Yu Hongchen, Executive Vice Chairman of the Chinese Football Association (CFA) and Chairman of the CSL Co., first thanked Ping An for its support of the league over the next four years. He said, "Ping An is a powerful company with a world-renowned brand name. As a Fortune 500 company, Ping An employs 800,000 people in China and provides financial and insurance services to over 80 million clients. We believe a long-term partnership with Ping An will help to improve the CSL's brand and influence. At the same time, Ping An's sponsorship with the CSL shows its recognition of CSL's reputation and value and its confidence in CSL's future."
Yu also stressed the progress CSL has made in recent years, remarking, "As the CSL becomes more compelling, more fans are paying attention to the league, creating an unprecedented opportunities for commercial exploitation. Since 2012 the CSL has been working with international and domestic sports marketing companies. We formed a strategic partnership with the global sports, fashion and media company, IMG Worldwide and successfully secured sponsors in Carlsberg, JD.com, Samsung, and China Auto Rental (CAR). It's clear for all to see that CSL is making positive headway.
The CSL attracted multiple companies to vie for the title sponsorship. Yu said, "We follow free-market mechanism to select the title sponsor. At our Shareholders Meeting, we listened to the presentations by all interested companies and all shareholders cast their votes. Ping An won the most votes." He continued, " Years ago Ping An was an investor of the CSL as they owned the Shenzhen Ping An FC. We hope in the future Ping An will continue to contribute to the CSL as well as the sports industry in China."
Sun Jianyi, Vice Chairman and CEO of Ping An, said, "For 25 years Ping An has been performing its social responsibility, supporting the development of social causes such as football. Ping An is honored to be the title sponsor of the CSL, reconnecting with Chinese football after more than a decade. Chinese football always garners tremendous public attention. As CSL clubs improve their performance on the international arena, the public's expectation of Chinese football is getting higher than ever. After ten years of development, the market and governance of football clubs are getting more and more mature. Ping An is willing to support the development of Chinese football as the title sponsor of the CSL. In addition, Ping An will also integrate its products and services with the league to create better experiences for the fans."
Also present at the press conference were Mr. Adam Zhu, Chairman of IMG Greater China, as a representative of CSL's commercial partners; Mr. Wang Wen, Chairman of Beijing Football Fans Association, as a representative of the football fans; Mr. Jiao Shaobo, Director of Beijing TV Sports Channel, as a representative of CSL' media partners; Mr. Gao Chao, GM of Beijing Guo'an FC, Liu Yuming, GM of Changchun Yatai FC, and Yu Tao, GM of Qingtao FC as representatives of investors.
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