A US company, which has a big presence in China, will spend
US$10 million on the naming rights of the Chinese top division
football league this year, Chengdu Economic Daily reported today.
The Chinese Football Association may publish the announcement
within the week, the newspaper said.
The US company, which is keeping its name a secret until the
contract is finalized with the national football association, will
sponsor the China Super League by acquiring its naming rights as
well as some other additional terms, said an industry insider. The
company is well known in China, it does a large part of their
business here, he added.
Along with the naming rights, an opening ceremony for the Super
League 2006 may be held in Shanghai or Wuhai, capital of central
China's Hubei Province, next month. However, the decision on the
host city for the ceremony will mainly be up to the US sponsor, the
If one of the two cities hosts the ceremony, the first round
matches of the season will start on March 11, the newspaper
China Super League ran its 2005 season without a title, because
the highest bid for the naming rights was 40 million yuan (US$5
million) only, which was not acceptable to the national football
The CSL was founded in 2004 as a replacement for the previous
Division I (Jia A) league, with 12 clubs in the league. The
inaugural season was plagued with scandals, such as fixed games and
For the 2005 season, the league expanded to 14 teams after Wuhan
Huanghelou and Zhuhai Zhongbang won promoting them from the second
league. Sichuan Guancheng has forfeited after it failed to meet the
financial requirements set by the association.
This year the league resumed its delegations, as one team will
be degraded to the lower-level league, while another two being
promoted to the top level. The association hopes it will revive the
attraction of the top-level league and win back its
(Beijing Time February 28, 2006)