Chinese solar power companies have shone amid the downturn in the solar industry, converting their low cost advantage into bigger market share and profits.
Now, China’s Yingli Green Energy Holding Co Ltd is making a play to raise its global profile. It’s taking its solar panels to the world’s biggest sporting event, the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, and has signed up to help sponsor the event.
The news makes Yingli the first renewable energy company to sponsor the World Cup — where the world’s best football (or soccer for U.S. fans) teams compete — as well as the first Chinese company to seal a global sponsorship deal with FIFA, the world’s governing body for football.
(The Wold Cup this year, coincidentally, is in South Africa, which announced last year government support for solar akin to solar incentives in Germany, the world’s largest market.)
The move reflects Yingli’s desire to increase its brand awareness. And that could pay off, Piper Jaffray analyst Jesse Pichel says.