Solar module manufacturers score football sponsorships

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email

Last Thursday, 31 of Europe’s finest football clubs, and Arsenal, entered the draw for the group stage of this season’s Champions League. Commonly regarded as the most prestigious football competition in the world, between now and next May it will be the battle ground for not just the finest footballers on the continent, but also some the world’s leading commercial brands.

Emblazoned on shirts, advertising hoardings and billboards will be household names such as Samsung, Heineken, Ford and Sony. However, this year there will be a smattering of new names gatecrashing the party in the hope of making a mark on the football-watching public’s consciousness.

Among their number will be solar giants Yingli Green Energy, Q-Cells and JinkoSolar, which have signed sponsorship deals with Germany’s three Champions League representatives, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen. Yingli Green’s grandly-titled Official Premium Partner agreement with the mighty Bayern is undoubtedly the most lucrative of the three, granting the manufacturer marketing rights in areas such as ticketing, hospitality, advertising and public relations.

With more than 147,000 members and nearly 70,000 packing out their Allianz Arena home stadium every other weekend, Bayern are by far Germany’s best supported football club. And Yingli’s three-year agreement with the four-time European Cup winners will give them an unparalleled promotional platform within the world’s number one PV marketplace.

However, Yingli is not confining its ambitions to Germany. In June, Yingli was once again named as one of the official sponsors of the 2014 Fifa World Cup in Brazil, a move chairman Liansheng Miao believes will prove invaluable in increasing business opportunities in Latin America. “After our 2010 Fifa World Cup sponsorship, we saw a tremendous increase in our brand awareness and inquiries for our products… and to be an important renewable energy partner to the world's most-watched single-sport event,” Miao said.

Despite Miao's protestations, in terms of brand awareness and sales, the effectiveness of Yingli’s sponsorship remains to be seen. Nevertheless, such deals are becoming commonplace among module manufacturers, whose behaviour is beginning to mirror that of organizations in other industries. In addition to the Yingli-Bayern partnership, the past year or so has seen Hanwha (Bolton Wanderers and Hamburger SV), Q-Cells (Borussia Dortmund), JinkoSolar (Bayer Leverkusen), Canadian Solar (Fulham FC), Mage (SC Freiburg), Suntech (1899 Hoffenheim) and Trina Solar (Renault F1 Team) all sign lucrative agreements with major sporting institutions.

And this activity bodes well for the future of solar. It is indicative of a maturing industry, with a growing advertising budget and an eagerness to capture market share and break into new markets. It will also, and perhaps most importantly, help to make the word photovoltaics part of the public’s vernacular.

While Yingli or Hanwha will never be a Coca-Cola, they can, in terms of recognition, be a Gazprom (the Russian natural gas firm and current sponsors of Schalke 04 and Zenit St. Petersburg). And for module manufacturers this recognition is vital. Although large-scale solar is facing an uncertain future in Europe, residential is on the rise and companies are looking for any edge they can get in this competitive marketplace.

The initial aim for manufacturers will probably be to merely wrestle market share off one another. However, should this current marketing strategy be more than just a fad, in time, it will hopefully have a more wide-reaching impact on the energy landscape: helping photovoltaics to establish itself as the premier renewable energy and to make further inroads on the global market share held by its non-renewable rivals.

26 January 2022
Join this free webinar for our analysis of the growth of N-Type technology including; new capacity expansions and production output. We'll also be looking at the global manufacturing footprint with forecasts on how much product will be made outside of China this year and which companies are driving technology change across the crystalline silicon value chain.
23 February 2022
Held annually since 2016, the Energy Storage Summit Europe is the place to be for senior stakeholders in the European storage industry. Designed to accelerate deployment of storage, we examine evolving chemistries, business models, project design, revenue stacks and use cases for storage. The 2022 edition will include exclusive content around longer duration solutions, energy strategies for wide-scale deployment of EVs and "EnTech", the event which sits at the intersection of digitisation, decentralisation and decarbonation of the power system. Come to meet TSOs, DSOs, Utilities, Developers, Investors and Lenders and leave with new contacts, partners and a wealth of information.
7 March 2022
Take your chance to join the most powerful platform in the MENA region. Middle East Energy (MEE), Intersolar, and ees, the leading energy exhibitions are joining hands to co-deliver an outstanding renewables and energy storage event at Middle East Energy 2021. Renewables and energy storage at MEE is the largest gathering of solar and renewable energy industry professionals in the Middle East & Africa, offering the most effective trade focused platform to international manufacturers and distributors looking to meet regional buyers.
8 March 2022
As Solar Finance & Investment enters its ninth year, we sit on the cusp of a new power market with solar at its heart. The 2022 edition of the event will build on our years of expertise and relationships to bring investors and lenders together with top developers. Connect with leaders in the field and use exclusive insights to drive investment and development decisions for the future. Meet new and existing project partners at the largest gathering of European solar investors and lenders.
23 March 2022
When it comes to storage, the US market exceeded a gigawatt of advanced energy storage installations (weighted towards lithium ion) at 1.46 GW, more than the previous six years in total! An exponential growth rate could see the market hit 7.5 GW p.a. by 2025. The summit will provide a wealth of content around this vital piece in the US power puzzle, with sessions dedicated to explore how companies are making money from batteries, the latest chemistries and their applications as they apply to different use-cases. We ask how investors can match ESG criteria to batteries and we will bring case studies of successful deployment and project execution onto the stage to examine how you can ensure your own projects are successful.
29 March 2022
Now in its 10th sell-out year, Large Scale Solar returns to Lisbon in 2022. We are excited to gather together face-to-face with the European solar industry as we provide unique and exclusive access to a powerful selection of the market's key stakeholders. Join this elite summit to find out how the market is maturing, which new markets are becoming more exciting, how technology is evolving and who's driving the market forward into the 2020s. Always senior, packed with developers, EPCs, utilities and investors this is the event for companies serious about European solar PV.

Read Next

January 18, 2022
Hive Hydrogen and Linde plc have teamed up to establish the “world’s largest green ammonia export plant” in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa that will have a 780,000 ton/year production capacity.
January 18, 2022
Corporate funding in the global solar sector reached a ten-year high in 2021 as the industry recovered from a COVID-affected 2020, new research from Mercom Capital Group reveals.
January 17, 2022
A round-up of the latest projects news, including EDP Renewables completing Indiana’s largest PV project, two Gulf utility companies pricing their first green bonds and an Australian utility linking its project to the national grid.
January 17, 2022
US independent power producer DESRI is planning to raise up to US$100 million in an initial public offering (IPO) that will see the company listed on the Nasdaq.
January 17, 2022
Solar module manufacturer Seraphim has launched its new S5 series of high-efficiency PV modules with a maximum power output of up to 670W and an efficiency of 21.57%.
January 17, 2022
Oman has signed an agreement with energy major bp that will support the potential development of multiple gigawatts of renewables and green hydrogen in the Middle Eastern country by 2030.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Webinars
January 26, 2022
Free Webinar
Solar Media Events
February 23, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
March 8, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
March 23, 2022
Austin, Texas, USA
Solar Media Events
March 29, 2022
Lisbon, Portugal