WSG inks $ 200 million deal for Asian Football Confederation rights

MUMBAI: Sports marketing firm World Sport Group (WSG) has signed a deal worth over $200 million with the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), securing the financial future of Asian football until 2012.

The deal, between the game's governing body in Asia and WSG, confirms football's position as Asia's number one sport.

The size of the deal is seen by industry watchers as further proof that major corporations, fans and consumers believe Asian football to be on a par with football in Europe and South America, and with the potential to outstrip both.

WSG president Seamus O'Brien said, "Our commitment gives the AFC the strongest base possible from which to invest in football at all levels across the continent. They now have a firm footing to oversee the future development of the sport to improve facilities and to nurture the talent of tomorrow, from the elite national and club team competitions to grassroots projects."

For O'Brien, whose association with AFC dates back to 1992, the deal is another significant milestone in the development of Asian football and WSG's growth into Asia's leading sports event, marketing and sponsorship agency.

"From the outset, AFC and WSG have had a set of share objectives and a mutual understanding, and we have always sought to find business solutions that take into account and reflect the enormous diversity of the continent," concluded O'Brien.

AFC president, Mohamed bin Hammam agreed: "This agreement follows months of negotiations by both parties, and I am delighted that we have now gained the commercial security to continue our rapid development and progress at all levels of the game.

"Our partnership with WSG is of immense importance to AFC. Their belief in Asian football, and their loyalty to AFC, creates a winning partnership, and I look forward to many more productive years."

The AFC is looking to extend its cooperation with WSG after 2012, if both parties are able to achieve their mutual objectives, added Hammam.

The current roster of blue-chip companies which sponsor AFC include Asahi Shimbun, Coca-Cola, Emirates, Epson, FamilyMart, Hyundai, Makita, JCB, Kirin, Konica Minolta, Maxell, Nike, Nikon Samsung, Toshiba, Toyota and Yamaha.


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