Lottery firm wants to make China a football champion

Lottery firm wants to make China a football champion

Friday, September 11, 2015
DJI Holdings said its deal with Arsenal can boost the sport

DJI Holdings said that it wants to help the growth of football in China after signing a partnership with English Premier League club Arsenal.

UK-based, China-facing lottery operator DJI will become Arsenal’s official lottery partner in the Asian country in a three-year agreement.

DJI, which delivers lottery ticket sales to its B2B clients and also sells directly to the public, noted that the Chinese government “is determined to become a force in football” by both hosting and winning the Fifa World Cup, and believes its deal with Arsenal can play a part in building the sport.

Darren Mercer, chief executive of DJI , said: “This is an exciting partnership of two international players at the top of their game.

“DJI is committed to being the leading provider of lottery content in China and its robust, versatile technology platform makes it ideally placed to support top-flight football clubs like Arsenal as they seek to engage with fans through fast growing digital channels, particularly mobile.”

While the government suspended all online lottery sales earlier this year, DJI had gross sales of £642.4m (€878.4m/$989.3m) in 2014, with gross profit of £6.9m and an operating loss of £2.4m.

The deal with Arsenal will allow DJI to offer customers weekly prizes relating to Arsenal, including team merchandise and tickets to attend matches, and club-related content. DJI said it is already engaging in partnerships to support the growth of football at grassroots level in China, encouraging amateur players to join in leagues and competitions.

Vinai Venkatesham, Arsenal’s chief operating officer, said “We have a big fan following in China and this partnership is a result of a lot of work growing our presence there. We have toured China twice and have developed a significant online following through social media platforms and a dedicated local language website.”
 

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