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Solar company leverages tournament into new markets


06-25-2014 17:41 BJT

Full coverage: World Cup 2014

The world cup attracts billions of viewers which means TV airtime and advertising for many sponsors. But sponsorships are also crucial gateways into new markets.

Chinese solar panel manufacturers aren’t having a smooth ride in the US market. In early June, a US ruling started the second wave of investigation against imported solar panels, amplifying woes of many Chinese solar companies.

“The rulings are wrong and we feel very angry. This will force our prices to increase, and thereby intensifying global competition. It may also threaten the survival of our manufacturers as they will be impacted as well as workers in PV industry in the US,”said Liang Tian, PR director of Yingli Solar, Baoding, Heibei Province.

And one door to new markets lies in marketing and sponsorship. This year, the World Cup in Brazil provided the perfect opportunity for Yingli Solar. And it’s not their first attempt. Four years ago they kicked off efforts in South Korea, and executives hope to score new goals for new markets in Latin America.

“Both the South Africa 2010 World Cup and this years’ Brazil World Cup are doors to new markets for solar power. We believe the markets there are likely to double within a couple of years. Our target is to take 30 percentage share of the market,”Liang said.

Yingli, based in Baoding of Hebei Province in Northern China is one of the many sponsors of the World Cup. Though a World Cup sponsorship is a huge investment for the company, executives are optimistic about the returns, given their recent strides in technology that may bolster sales.

“This product generates power from both sides, and we are one of three companies globally to manage such techniques,”said Tian Shuquan, chief engineer of Test Center of Yinli Solar.

Yingli says it intends to continue sponsorship in the sporting event with the next one at the 2018 Russia World Cup.


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