Millions of football fans across Asia will learn more about South Australia after the State Government confirmed a sponsorship deal with Adelaide United for their AFC Champions League campaign.
The Reds will play off for a spot in the group stage of the competition against Chinese club, Shandong Luneng Taishan, at Hindmarsh Stadium on Tuesday, 9 February.
The State Government has committed $15,000 to sponsor Adelaide United for the play-off game, with a further $100,000 sponsorship to follow should the club win and advance into the Group Stages of the ACL.
Investment and Trade Minister, Martin Hamilton-Smith, said the front-of-shirt sponsorship will place the South Australian State brand on millions of television screens across Asia.
“The popularity of football in China is growing rapidly and next week, millions of people from our sister city Shandong, China and Asia generally, will tune in to see our Reds take on their team live from Hindmarsh Stadium,” he said.
“This sponsorship is a chance to promote our State in one of our fastest growing regions for tourism, trade, and investment.
“Importantly, as we approach this year’s 30th anniversary of our sister city relationship with the Shandong Province, this is a great way to highlight our links to the region and the potential to grow through new social, political, and economic opportunities.”
Adelaide United Chairman, Greg Griffin, said he was delighted the Club was able to secure the support of the State, with the Reds eager to do south Australia proud on Asian football’s biggest stage.
“We are delighted that the Premier’s initiative, in developing strong International commercial and cultural relations through Sports Diplomacy, with our major trading partners of which each of China, Japan, and Korea are all nations we expect to be competing against in the forthcoming Asian Champions League recognises the role we have to play in promoting our great State to all of Asia.
“The Reds are the pioneers of Australian success in Asia and still hold the record as finishing 5th in the FIFA Club World Cup, which is a feat recognised throughout the Asian region.
“We are delighted to wear the State Logo on our shirt and will do our utmost to do South Australia proud next Tuesday night.”
Shandong Luneng, who qualified for this match last night by beating India club, Mohun Bagan, will have a vast array of talent on display against United, including Brazilian Carlos Gilberto do Nascimento Silva (Gil), who they recently purchased for €8.5 million.
Adelaide United have made four appearances in the ACL and were the first Australian team to qualify for the final of the competition in 2008.
“I’d encourage football fans and those passionate about our State to show their support for Adelaide United, who have been in excellent form recently, as they take on Shandong at Hindmarsh Stadium next Tuesday,” Mr Hamilton-Smith said.
Adelaide United will face Shandong Luneng Taishan in the AFC Champions League Play-Off on Tuesday, 9 February at Hindmarsh Stadium. Kick off is at 7.30pm ACDT.