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New era for Asian football begins as AFC agrees partnership with DDMC Fortis

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Press Release

12th June 2018

The decision of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) to enter into an agreement with DDMC Fortis has confirmed the growing value of Asian football’s national and club team competitions.

The agreement covers all commercial rights and services for all AFC National Team and Club competitions, beginning with the Asian Qualification competition for the FIFA World Cup 2022. This decision was confirmed yesterday, June 11, 2018, when the AFC and DDMC Fortis (DDMC Sports International Limited) entered into a legally binding Standstill Agreement.

DDMC Fortis was created specifically to bid for the AFC rights and combines global football experience with in-depth knowledge and experience in the Asian market.

The AFC’s competitions have grown significantly over the last decade, both in terms of status and value and this is reflected by the record five Asian teams at the FIFA World Cup in Russia starting this week and also the increased investment in the Asian club competitions

The objective of the next rights cycle is clear: to provide thoroughly modern tailored solutions for content, sponsorship and other commercial rights that meet the needs of a dynamic and evolving market. With a strong focus on the fans, there will be renewed investment in brand building and marketing with the aim of building interest, engagement and therefore value across the AFC’s competitions.

Rentao Yi, Chairman of Wuhan DDMC Culture Co., Ltd. said: “We are greatly honoured to be chosen by the AFC as its exclusive commercial partner. Based in China and with global vision, DDMC is a leader in the Asian sports industry with abundant experience in international rights management and cross-border intercultural cooperation.

"This is the first time that a Chinese enterprise has secured a comprehensive commercial mandate for a prestigious global football property.

‘We believe that the joint venture with Fortis Sports AG will be highly beneficial to both partners in delivering the very best service and results to the AFC. Based partly on the booming Chinese sports market, our cooperation with the AFC will help the AFC take Asian football to the next level and kick-off a golden decade of growth.

Patrick Murphy, Board Member of Fortis Sports AG said: “DDMC Fortis believes passionately in Asian football. In terms of population and economic might, Asia is a global powerhouse. Football is the number one sport in the region and the passion of Asia’s football fans is unquestioned.

“The potential to elevate the AFC’s competitions is clear, and DDMC Fortis is proud to be entrusted by the AFC to help it achieve that potential. Our team has a wealth of experience - in the global sports industry and in Asian football.

“Our sole focus as an organisation is to help the AFC build its competitions into truly world-class properties, for the benefit of all stakeholders and all fans of Asian football.

Immediately after the decision was taken by the AFC Executive Committee at their meeting in Moscow to conclude a deal with DDMC Fortis, Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, the AFC President, said: “The new rights agreement will now secure the financial future of our Member Associations as well as help the AFC further enhance our competitions and development programmes.

“We are delighted to have recommended the offer from DDMC Fortis as they submitted such a compelling bid and now the AFC Administration has been mandated to complete the contract as soon as possible.

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