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AFC and Yili announce global sponsorship deal

Yili Group is one of the world’s biggest dairy companies, with a turnover of $15 billion in 2020 with sponsorships in some of the world's biggest events.

The Asian Football Confederation has finalized its four-year sponsorship deal with Chinese dairy company Yili. Yili becomes a Global Partner of AFC national team competitions from 2021 to 2024. It is conjectured to be one of the most valuable sponsorship deals ever agreed for AFC competitions.

Yili joins the AFC family as the first Official Global Partner of the AFC national team competitions from China PR and will be the exclusive sponsor in the dairy products category, the water category, and other selected beverage categories. It covers competitions including the Asian Qualifiers, the 2023 Asian Cup in China, the 2022 Women’s Asian Cup in India, and the 2022 U23 Asian Cup in Uzbekistan.

The deal was brokered by the Football Marketing Asia agency, selling global media and sponsorship rights for the AFC in the 2021-24 and 2025-28 cycles. The 2023 Asian Cup will be the centre for Yili.

Yili Group is one of the world’s biggest dairy companies, with a turnover of $15 billion in 2020. The company has sponsored some of the most exciting sports events, like the Beijing 2008 Olympics, the 2019 CISM Military World Games, and the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics. Yili joins Saudi Arabian new city project Neom and tyre manufacturer Continental on the AFC national team Official Partner roster.

As part of its comprehensive physical and digital activation rights, Yili will become the exclusive presenting partner of the AFC Asian Cup China 2023 opening ceremony and enjoy brand exposure through the procurement of the official flag bearers of the tournament. Fans will enjoy unique content like the Top Scorer Award sponsored by Yili in all AFC national team competitions, commencing with the final round of the AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar in September 2021.

Dato’ Windsor John, the AFC General Secretary, said, “Today’s agreement represents a partnership between two world-class brands. The AFC’s competitions have continued to grow in stature, and I am confident that this collaboration will promote the long-term objectives of both the AFC and Yili in forging stronger relationships with our fans and customers.”

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