March 28, 2021

AFC and NEOM announce four-year global sponsorship rights deal

NEOM, Saudi Arabia: The partnership marks a major milestone as NEOM becomes an Official Global Partner of the AFC’s national team and club competitions for 2021-2024.

NEOM has become a Global Partner of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) from 2021-2024.

The agreement encompasses major AFC national team competitions, including but not limited to the AFC Asian Qualifiers - Road to Qatar Final Round featuring the Continent’s top-12 football nations, and Asia’s flagship national team competition – the AFC Asian Cup China 2023 – which is set to take place in China PR, as well as the AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022 and the AFC U23 Asian Cup Uzbekistan 2022. In addition, NEOM will be a strong supporter of the AFC Champions League and AFC Cup globally.

NEOM is a project of global significance currently under development in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, focussed on creating a new model for sustainable living and accelerating human progress. With an ambition to become a global centre for sport, its partnership with the AFC will provide NEOM with a long-term platform to grow its profile on the world stage, develop a culture of active lifestyles within its own communities, and leverage its investment in technology, innovation, performance and sustainability to benefit football across the whole of Asia.

The partnership was secured by the AFC's commercial partner Football Marketing Asia (FMA) who will manage the rights delivery and work closely with NEOM and the AFC on launching a range of activation campaigns in the coming months, initially with a digital focus and over time also presenting opportunities for fans to experience NEOM in person.

Dato’ Windsor John, the AFC General Secretary, said: “The AFC is delighted to welcome NEOM to the fast expanding AFC family of global partners, which once again reinforces the undeniable stature and prestige of the AFC’s brand and its competitions.

“NEOM’s partnership with AFC not only underscores the attractive and engaging platform the AFC provides through its many world-class competitions but also emphasises the profound and lasting impact Asia’s number one sport can have on strengthening communities.

“We look forward to creating and sharing historic moments with NEOM and realising our common ambitions.”

Nadhmi Al Nasr, CEO of NEOM said: “NEOM is extremely excited about its ambitious partnership with the AFC. Football is by far Saudi Arabia’s favourite sport. It holds a special place in the hearts of our people and therefore provides a unique opportunity to inspire and enable NEOM’s citizens to lead active lifestyles, as we move towards our goal of having the most physically active population on the planet.

“We regard and value the AFC as a progressive and innovative partner who is committed to taking football in Asia to greater heights. This reflects NEOM’s own ambition to become a globally recognised centre of sporting excellence, to provide a world class environment for the brightest minds and best talent to excel, and to contribute to the growth and economic prosperity of the Kingdom.”

Patrick Murphy, Board Member and CEO at Football Marketing Asia commented: “NEOM represents a wonderful fit with the new commercial rights cycle of AFC competitions, being a project fuelled at its very core by innovation and celebrating futuristic thinking. Our team at Football Marketing Asia is incredibly excited to begin collaborating with NEOM to promote its unique story to fans of Asian football and elevate their experience of the game they love.”