The Chinese Super League club, Chongqing Dangdai Lifan, is said to rename itself as Chongqing Dangdai Football Club, according to a Weibo post by a sports blogger known as Bi77y.
Following the Bi77y post, the official Weibo account of the club has changed its profile photo into a new logo without any Lifan elements.
According to Zhao Yingji of Chongqing Evening News, around midnight Tuesday, a senior executive of the club also hinted at a change on WeChat by suggesting that the CSL outfit has found a new partner, SWM Motors. However, the WeChat post was deleted by later Wednesday morning, and there are no official comments as of now.
Zhao also cited a source who confirmed that the Chongqing-based professional football club had signed a record deal with SWM Motors. Specifically, the motor brand is said to become the title sponsor of the club in the 2018 season as well as acquire the advertising rights on the front and back of the team shirts.
According to the club’s sponsorship plan, this deal may generate up to 200 million yuan throughout the new season for Chongqing Dangdai, which includes 120 million yuan for title sponsorship, 60 million for logo exposure on the front of the team shirts and 20 million yuan for advertising space on the back of the shirts.
The source also said: “The club will change its logo and name in the new season, and the new name may be called Chongqing SWM, but will not be made official until the end of February.”
In addition to this, Lifan Motors may not exit the business entirely since it still owns a 10% stake in the club. The main reason for the rebranding is that Lifan and SWM are both motor brands, so the club has to protect the exclusive sponsorship rights for the new title sponsor.
Proofread by William Logsdon