New Zealand Prime Minister John Key has long been a fan of sports diplomacy, having taken international rugby and cricket players with him on previous trips around the Asia-Pacific region. On his current trip to China, rugby was once again at the fore.
With all the negative press that Chinese telecoms firm Huawei has been receiving in recent days – that it “spies for the Chinese government“, or that the Brits are investigating Huawei’s involvement in a cyber security base in the UK – you would think it might take more than a little gentle sports PR to turn things around.
Chinese TV and electronics brand Changhong has announced a one-year shirt sponsorship deal with Australian rugby league team Parramatta Eels. Changhong’s first major sports sponsorship will see the company’s logo appear on the back of the Eels’ playing jerseys for the 2013 National Rugby League (NRL) season. The Changhong name will also appear on the goal posts at the Eels’ 20,000-capacity Parramatta Stadium as well as signage around the ground. As you might expect, there will also be Changhong TVs all over the venue.