Yingli Solar Promotes Green Energy With World Cup Sponsorship

June 9, 2014 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

Blue solar panels encircle the roof of the Maracana stadium in Rio di Janeiro, where the final game of the 2014 FIFA World Cup is set to take place. (Photo courtesy of Yingli Solar)

Baoding, China. While 31 national teams from will be making their last-minute preparation before the 2014 FIFA World Cup kicks off on Thursday, the world’s largest solar panel manufacturer Yingli Green Energy, or Yingli Solar, is set to take advantage of the sporting event to push for improved awareness toward the functionality of solar energy in day-to-day use through a sponsorship plan.

“Our goal is to help people understand that solar is very close to you. It’s very multifunctional,” said Judy Tzeng Lee, Yingli Solar’s vice president of global marketing, in April. “The sun has no boundary, it can reach every corner of the world, that is why we have the campaign called ‘All Under One Sun.’ ”

The 2014 World Cup will not be Yingli’s first sponsorship. It was a sponsor of the 2010 event, though on a smaller scale.

“In 2009 when the financial crisis happened, a sponsor [from the banking industry] pulled out of the World Cup sponsorship. FIFA was looking for a replacement, and they had a choice of going to another bank, but they were saying why don’t we try another industry, and they were looking at energy,” Angie Koh, Yingli Solar’s Southeast Asia business development director, told the Jakarta Globe.

“They were looking at China and energy, and they thought of Yingli, so they approached us and asked whether we were interested. We decided to try the partnership once and it turned out to be quite phenomenal.”

Baoding-based Yingli Solar, whose name was displayed in 2010 on the signboards placed on the sides of fields, piqued the interest of spectators in the stadium and at home. At the time the sudden spike in the number of visitors digging up information on the newcomer gracing the sponsorship boards resulted in the crashing of the company’s website, Tzeng Lee said.

“Solar photovoltaic [cells] is not a far-out, space-age technology any more – and it is more affordable, accessible and widely available than ever before,” the company said in a statement.

This year’s partnership with FIFA will see the installation of solar panels on at least two main stadiums, namely in Arena Pernambuco in Recife, as well as in the Maracana Staduim in Rio de Janeiro, where the final game of the World Cup is set to take place. The company will also be installing solar panels on the parking structure in the Pernambuco stadium, in addition to other supporting facilities hoped to cater to visitors needs in all venues.

“A lot of people say solar panels are ugly. This [the installation of solar panels on stadiums in Brazil] actually are pretty nice and looks really good. Not only does this help Yingli as a company, but it also … introduces green energy and renewable energy into the FIFA World cup,” Tzeng Lee said, referring to the ring-shaped arrangement of solar panels embedded on the roof of the Maracana stadium.

“Info towers [in stadiums] will be powered by Yingli. The lighting on the towers are going to be all solar-powered. This is something we are providing to FIFA at all stadiums around the World Cup in Brazil, so that the World Cup may be a little bit greener.”

Tzeng Lee added that Yingli Solar has moved to partner with Budweizerto build solar-powered beer gardens across stadiums in a co-marketing scheme with the beer producer. Additionally, the company will also be supplying solar charging stations in VIP, VVIP and media sections at the stadiums.

The initiatives are expected to prevent 2,604 metric tons of carbon emissions.

Although Yingli Solar, which is listed in the New York Stock Exchange, declined to disclose the amount spent for the sponsorship, Chinese English media Want China Times estimates the second level sponsorship to be worth at least $68 million.

The company said in April that its share price rose 49 percent during the 2010 World Cup and that it saw a significant increase in customer demand for Yingli Solar products, exceeding the company’s production capacity by three times.

Separately, in the report by Want Times China, Yingli Solar’s sales reportedly grew to 2.3 gigawatts in 2012 when it first announced its latest World Cup sponsorship, which later increased to 3.2 gigawatts in 2013. Prior to its 2010 sponsorship, the company’s sales volume reportedly stood at 525 megawatts.

“We wouldn’t have sponsored the FIFA World Cup again if it wasn’t [worth it]. It was a unique opportunity to brand our products to a huge global audience during FIFA World Cup 2010 in South Africa, which helped us enhance our corporate image, brand recognition and value,” the company said in a statement.

The Jakarta Globe was invited by Yingli Green Energy to visit its factory in Baoding, China.

Comments are closed.