Yingli Green Energy: Chinese Company Makes History with 2010 World Cup Sponsorship

When have you officially arrived as a green energy company? When you’ve installed your first gigawatt? That’s so old economy. It’s when you fork over ridiculous money to sponsor a sporting event.

Yingli Green Energy, a photovoltaic solar panel manufacturer, officially crossed the threshold this morning when it trumpeted its sponsorship of the World Cup in South Africa this June. The release from FIFA, the international soccer body, is here.Yingli is the first green energy company, and the first Chinese concern, to sponsor the FIFA World Cup.

No word about the amount of cash that changed hands in the deal, though “tier one” sponsorships, or Partners, start above the $100 million mark. Sponsors include McDonalds, Budweiser and the Indian-owned Satyam IT services company, among others

The parties also made a claim to greater significance in the deal.

Yingli’s statement claims,

Yingli Green Energy is answering FIFA’s call to make the world’s most popular sport not only a celebration of the game but also a sign of respect for the planet that we inhabit.

FIFA is hoping that Yingli is the first of many Chinese companies to plow money and resources into the event and hopes to grow the game in the world’s most populous country.

FIFA’s marketing director Thierry Weil told Reuters, “China is a given, China is one of the powerhouses of the world,”

Yingli gets global marketing rights, including ticket and board advertising, and the right to showcase its solar products in the fan zones. The company can also showcase its logo next to the World Cup Official Emblem.

Yingli had earlier committed to providing solar panels for the official 2010 campaign “20 Centres for 2010,” a building program that will provide community centres and pitches in areas throughout South Africa.

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