Millions of soccer fans across Asia will learn more about South Australia after the State Government confirmed a sponsorship deal with Adelaide United for their Asian Champions League campaign.
The Reds will play off for a spot in the group stage of the competition against Chinese club Shandong Luneng at Coopers Stadium next Tuesday, after Shandong qualified with a thumping 6-nil victory against Indian team Mohun Bagan last night.
The State Government has committed $15,000 to sponsor Adelaide United for the playoff game, with a further $100,000 sponsorship to follow should the club win and advance in the competition.
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 soccer 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 Coopers 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.”
Shandong Luneng, who qualified for this match last night by beating Mohun Bagan of India, 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 euros.
Adelaide United have made four appearances in the Asian Champions League and were the first Australian team to qualify for the final of the competition in 2008.
“I’d encourage soccer 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 Coopers Stadium next Tuesday,” Mr Hamilton-Smith said.
The match between Adelaide United and Shandong kicks-off at 7.30pm and tickets are available through Ticketek.