Moscow (People’s Daily) – Football superstars play a decisive role in matches, and even more instrumental roles in markets.
For Chinese brands, which want to expand their overseas markets, linking their names with the superstars, especially during the World Cup, will definitely help them become successful.
With four goals, Cristiano Ronaldo has almost singlehandedly carried Portugal though the group stage. This pleases Portuguese fans, but more so for Chinese brands who have him as their endorser.
Compared to other advertising strategies, signing superstars like Ronaldo, Messi, and Neymar seem more effective.
According to reports, Neymar and Messi worth more than five countries' squads, and a tweet from Ronaldo works better than an ad in the final match of the World Cup. And this is the how many Chinese companies which can’t afford World Cup sponsorship do it.
Neymar's endorsement of TCL at a train station in Moscow. (Photos: Wang Yi/People's Daily)
Since TCL, a Chinese household appliance giant, since an endorsement deal with Neymar in February, sales domestically and overseas have increased, according to the official data.
The data also shows that, as of June 20, during the 6.18 online shopping festival in China, sales have increased by 45.1 percent year on year, reaching 1.65 billion yuan.
At an outlet in Moscow, TCL sales also increased by 30 percent during the World Cup, which is two times the average increase in sales, according to Leonid Churikov, marketing communications director of Merlion company in Russia.
Although Chinese brands have found a way to get the endorsement of football’s biggest stars, the stars and teams have become even bigger winners.
The 23-man French squad, which is worth $1.2 billion, signed a deal with Chinese kitchen appliance brand Huadi, and network company Net Ease signed a deal with reigning champions Germany.
Neymar also became the face of Guangzhou Automobile's Honda Accord car, and Harbin Beer joined the Tencent All-Star cooperation program "Team Penguin". Messi not only endorsed Mengniu but also became a member of the Tencent "Penguin team". Ronaldo has become the spokesperson of Great Wall Motors' SUV brand WEY.
Top: Football superstar Neymar's endorsement of China’s brand TCL at the exit of Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport.