Tokyo, Dec 9 (IANS)
World football’s governing body FIFA and Chinese e-commerce major Alibaba Group have reached an eight-year agreement on presenting the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award at each match during the Club World Cup tournament beginning this year. The agreement — that will last till 2022 — sees the emergence of the Alibaba Group as the first Chinese company to have the presenting partnership with the FIFA tournament. Both sides vowed to promote the competition to a global audience through the exclusive rights associated with their co-operation, reports Xinhua. For his part, FIFA marketing director Thierry Weil on Wednesday welcomed the beginning of their co-operation and expected to benefit from Alibaba’s innovation, adding that FIFA is “excited to be working closely with them (Alibaba) to embark on a journey to reach fans across the world”.
Alibaba will present the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award at each match during the tournament, including the final match on December 20, according to FIFA. Zhang Dazhong, CEO of Alibaba sport, said in a press conference here on Wednesday that “sports is at the intersection of Alibaba Group’s strategic themes of health and happiness, and we look forward to adding new value for participants and consumers in the sports sector through data-driven Internet technology”. “Partnering with a major sporting event with a global audience such as FIFA Club World Cup is also an important part of Alibaba Group’s globalization strategy for connecting China to the world,” said Zhang. This year’s edition of the FIFA Club World Cup will be held in Japan’s Osaka and Yokohama from December 10 to 20.