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Espanyol builds on Chinese presence with Irongest deal

Spanish football club RCD Espanyol has signed up probiotic brand Irongest as its latest regional sponsor in China.

The deal starts immediately and is due to run until the end of the 2020-21 season.

As part of the contract, the brand will get image and association rights with the club in China.

In addition, it will be granted a range of other hospitality, branding and advertising assets.

The agreement with the Suanfarma pharmaceutical group-owned firm builds on the club’s existing expansion efforts in China. This has been aided by the club’s acquisition of Wu Lei, the first Chinese player to play in Spanish top division LaLiga.

Lei’s impact since his transfer in January 2019 has been such that the club attracts television audiences similar level to those of Barcelona and Real Madrid in the region.

In June 2019, Espanyol signed up Chinese technology company iFlyTek as a sponsor, with Lei an ambassador of the brand, which telco China Mobile has a 15-per-cent stake in.

In June of 2019, China Mobile signed its own contract with the Catalan club, agreeing to host video content, including live reserve team games on its platforms.

LaLiga indicated to SportBusiness Lei has also been a significant help in its own efforts to expand in China and across Asia.

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