World Cup Player Endorsements Boost Sales For Chinese Firms
Beijing-based newspaper Securities Daily reported that Chinese companies "are betting" on the FIFA World Cup and its top players "to raise their own profile in the market," according to the WANT CHINA TIMES. Air conditioner maker Aux "is a good example of a Chinese company that has successfully promoted itself through the World Cup," as its decision to hire David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo and three other stars to front its campaign during the '06 event in Germany "helped the company's overseas expansion." Another popular star is Argentina's Lionel Messi, who "has been signed up by Chinese automaker Chery, webportal Tencent and electrical appliance retailer Suning." Tencent hired Messi last July "to promote its WeChat app." Furniture retailer Red Star Malalline also saw its sales boosted by 42% during the Labor Day holiday "thanks to its marketing campaign featuring retired Italy forward Alessandro Del Piero and several others star players, even though the company was not given permission to do so" (WANT CHINA TIMES, 6/24).