IMG Setting Up U.S. Sponsors For China's Top Football League
IMG Worldwide, which has a marketing agreement with the Chinese Super League, "has started setting up meetings with possible U.S. corporate sponsors," according to BLOOMBERG. IMG China President & CEO Adam Zhu said, "We've just begun the process, but there's a tremendous interest from companies in the U.S." Zhu said meetings to discuss possible sponsorships have been held with "major consumer product companies," with IMG also planning a promotional tour for the league. Zhu would not reveal "which companies had participated in talks." Foreign companies, including Yum! Brands, Daimler and Samsung Electronics have used athletes to market their products in China, which has grown to become the world's largest consumer of cars, mobile phones and computers. Zhu said of IMG's agreement with the CSL, "We saw the opportunities here." IMG's return to work with the CSL comes after a "committee formed by 12 ministry-level government agencies began a crackdown on graft in the sport in '09." Zhu said, "We've done tremendous due diligence politically, financially and people wise. We're going to help improve the system." In addition to sponsorships, IMG is also looking at how the CSL "can boost revenue through online media and has met EPL CEO Richard Scudamore to discuss the league's development" (BLOOMBERG, 10/30).