Conmebol leans on Chinese brands again with TCL Copa América renewal

(Buda Mendes/Getty Images)
(Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

Consumer electronics brand TCL has extended its sponsorship agreement with Conmebol and will once again be a sponsor of this year’s Copa América tournament, becoming the latest Chinese brand to announce a deal with the South American football confederation.

The firm, which specialises in LED televisions and air conditioning products, will appear on pitch-side LED inventory, the referees’ shirts and VAR booth during this year’s tournament, which is taking place in the United States from June 20 to July 14.

The brand began working with Conmebol when it signed as a regional sponsor of the 2019 edition of the Copa América. It then upgraded to a global deal for the 2021 edition. It is also a sponsor of the Copa Libertadores, the confederation’s main club competition.

The Chinese-Brazilian home appliance joint venture Semp TCL also serves as a sponsor of the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) in a deal running from 2021 to the end of 2024.

Chinese brands have demonstrated a strong appetite to align themselves with national team football competitions recently. TCL joins Chinese automotive powerhouse BYD in the Copa América’s sponsorship portfolio, with the latter brand having agreed a regional sponsorship deal for the tournament.

Chinese brands will also dominate Uefa’s national team football sponsorship programme, with three out of five of the federation’s top-tier sponsors at this summer’s Euro 2024 tournament coming from the country.    

Elsewhere in sport, TCL serves as the Official TV Partner of the NFL, having filled the long-vacant position in the US League’s portfolio in January 2023, and as a Global Partner of the International Basketball Federation (Fiba). The brand originally agreed a one-year contract to sponsor the 2019 Fiba World Cup in China, which grew into a Global Partner deal for the 2020-23 cycle. This deal has since been extended until 2027.

Dale Chen, TCL marketing director for Latin America, said: Renewing sports partnerships is part of our communications strategy to support the brand’s sustained growth trajectory in Latin America.

“Furthermore, great sporting moments deserve to be seen on special screens like the ones we offer in our products, and this explains the excellent results we have had: we are the number 1 brand in sales and 98-inch televisions in the world and the second best television brand in the world according to [independent market analyst] OMDIA.”