The Alibaba Group has agreed to a multi-year deal with FIFA, the world governing body for football, for its Alibaba Cloud brand to become the presenting partner of the Fifa Club World Cup.
This is a renewal of Alibaba’s partnership with FIFA which till date was signed with one of its other group company.
In 2015, Alibaba E-Auto, an ‘Internet car’ brand owned by the Group, had signed a deal with FIFA to present the Most Valuable Player award until 2022. Now, FIFA has renewed a seven-year deal with Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing arm of the Group.
Simon Hu, Senior Vice-President of Alibaba Group and President of Alibaba Cloud on the occasion of signing announced that the Group aims to leverage its technology to bring more high-tech elements to FIFA through a range of initiatives and bring a more interactive and smooth multimedia game-viewing experience to viewers.
“We are striving to make technology more inclusive to benefit more people’s day-to-day life and well-being. We hope to show how our technology can bring new aspects of fun and enjoyment to fans of sports, including those people who might have had barriers to access or participate before,” Hu said.
This year’s tournament will be hosted by the UAE from December 6 to 16, where seven teams will play eight matches at Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain’s Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium for the title of World Club Champions. The UAE also hosted the tournament in 2009 and 2010. Teams already confirmed for this year’s Fifa Club World Cup include Mexican outfit Pachuca, Moroccan side Wydad Casablanca, New Zealand’s Auckland City, Al Jazira of the UAE and European champions Real Madrid, who will be looking to defend the title they won last year. The Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) Champions League and South American Football Confederation’s (Conmebol) Copa Libertadores winners will also qualify once they are confirmed later this month.
Starting from this year’s edition of the seven-team annual soccer tournament, which is due to take place between 6th and 16th December in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the global cloud computing company will design and provide the competition’s most valuable player award until 2022.
Iain Downie, Fifa’s director of marketing sales and strategy, said: “We are aware of the substantial value that Alibaba Cloud provides to business in terms of technical support and global reaching services. We can only see great potential in this fresh collaboration related to the Fifa Club World Cup.”
The Fifa Club World Cup currently features the champions of Fifa’s six continental confederations, as well as the host nation’s league winner, although the British and American media recently reported that soccer’s global governing body is considering expanding the tournament to 24 teams from 2021.