Chinese smartphone maker Vivo Mobile Communication Technology Co Ltd said it had signed a six-year deal with FIFA to sponsor the 2018 and 2022 World Cup.


The sponsorship is the company's latest attempt to expand its presence in overseas markets after it expanded to be the third-biggest smartphone seller in China.


As FIFA's official smartphone brand, Vivo will sponsor the FIFA World Cup as well as the FIFA Confederations Cup until 2022.


The 2018 World Cup will be held in Russia, with the 2022 event to be held in Qatar.


The Financial Times quoted people familiar with the matter as saying that the deal cost around 400 million euros ($449.6 million), but Vivo denied the figure to China Daily.


Under the deal, Vivo will roll out a customized FIFA World Cup phone to appeal to global fans. Its logo will also appear during every match on pitch advertising boards, tickets, media releases and other key promotional platforms.


"Soccer is a sport full of passion and moments of wonder, creating happiness for millions of people," said Ni Xudong, executive vice-president of Vivo. "The spirit of soccer is about constant progress. Vivo hopes to strongly associate itself with that spirit."


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