It was recently reported in Africa Business Source, that a Chinese green energy firm, Yingli, became the first Chinese company to become an official 2010 World Cup sponsor. This should not be shocking given China’s recent interest (and investment) all over the African continent. But it is an interesting move given the “green” credentials of the company. Not only are they spreading the renewable energy gospel around the continent with their sponsorship they are also getting in on some of the other CSR initiatives such as the 20 Centres for 2010, the Official Campaign of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, by providing solar panels.”
Of course Yingli sees the benefits of their sponsorship as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Yingli Green Energy, Liansheng Miao stated
“as one of the world’s leading solar companies we are excited to be joining other world-class brands as an international sponsor of the FIFA World Cup. This sponsorship links Yingli Green Energy to the world’s most popular and passionately followed sport. We feel privileged to have this opportunity, and look forward to offering our expertise to help FIFA leverage this much-loved sport to promote a better, greener environment.This sponsorship links Yingli Green Energy to the world’s most popular and passionately followed sport. We feel privileged to have this opportunity, and look forward to offering our expertise to help FIFA leverage this much-loved sport to promote a better, greener environment.”
If the price of solar continues to decrease as energy efficiency improves, I can see solar becoming a major player around the Continent. Becoming a household name in solar energy in Africa seems like a really smart move by Yingli and I could see this sponsorship investment having a very high ROI. Their sponsorship immediately gives them extensive brand coverage and puts them in the same light as major brands such as Satyam, Continental, Coca-Cola, Adidas, etc. It will be interesting to see how else Yingli decides to take advantage of this opportunity and engage with communities and countries all over the continent.