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

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

Kuala Lumpur, June 12, 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 (DDMC Fortis).

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 (DDMC Fortis).

“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 (DDMC Fortis).

“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 (DDMC Fortis).

“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.”

About Asian Football Confederation (AFC)
Asia is home to the world’s biggest football stadium, with over two thirds of the world’s population and an unrivalled passion for football.

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) represents Asia in the world of football, covering the diverse continent with 46 Member Associations and one Associate Member across five zones – ASEAN, Central, East, South and West.

The AFC is the guardian of the game in Asia, promoting and protecting football. It is the AFC’s vision to be the world’s leading Confederation, ensure more successful Asian teams on the world stage and confirming football as the number one sport throughout the Continent.

About DDMC
Wuhan DDMC Culture Co. Ltd is a Shanghai Stock Exchange A-share listed company (stock code: SH.600136) and has been active in the sports, cultural and entertainment sectors since 2014.

The company is headquartered in Wuhan and has subsidiaries or offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Hong Kong, Barcelona, Amsterdam and Manchester.

DDMC’s sports businesses are active across sports marketing, sports agency, media rights trading, sports content platforms, venue operations and club management. DDMC’s football rights portfolio includes English Premier League, UEFA European Championships and La Liga.

Due to its influence on and contribution to the Chinese sports industry, DDMC has been awarded the status “Pioneer Company of the National Sports Industry” by the Sports Administration of China.

DDMC’s leadership team boasts an unrivalled track record of success and innovation in the Chinese sports rights market. Expert, dynamic, ambitious and 100% Asian – DDMC is an ideal partner for the AFC (DDMC Fortis).

About Fortis Sports AG
Fortis Sports AG is a Swiss-based sports marketing agency led by Patrick Murphy and David Tyler, former Managing Directors of TEAM Marketing.

Its principals have extensive experience at the highest levels of sports marketing globally including expertise in Asia.

With over 25 years of experience in the sports business, Murphy was a driving force for the sale of media and sponsorship rights for the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europe League for more than a decade.

He is also the Co-founder and President of Catalyst Media Group, and Co-founder of Synergy Sports AG. Murphy spent most of the 1990’s in the Asian sports business in a variety of senior management roles at ESPN STAR Sports (now 21st Century Fox).

With over 25 years of experience in the sports business, Tyler was formerly CEO of Relevent Sports, leading the global International Champions Cup tournament, and prior to that was Managing Director at TEAM Marketing. Tyler has extensive experience in sports rights commercialisation and sales process management. —- AFC

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