Report: Espanyol set to drop shirt sponsor for LD Sports deal

Report: Espanyol set to drop shirt sponsor for LD Sports deal
Spanish top-flight soccer club Espanyol are set to undertake an early replacement of their current shirt sponsor in a new deal with Chinese digital content brand LD Sports, according to a report in Spain.

The Barcelona-based LaLiga outfit are just two years into their deal with the tourism board of Riviera Maya, a contract first signed in August 2017 worth a reported €2 million (US$2.2 million) per year and running through 2023.

Now, according to Radio Marca’s PericosOnline, Espanyol are set to usurp that arrangement via a new deal with LD Sports. The agreement would see a change in partnership category for Riviera Maya, which will apparently now get secondary kit branding.

The deal with LD Sports, which is also paying UK£7.5 million a year to be the shirt sponsor for Premier League club Southampton, is Espanyol’s latest move in the Chinese market.

The signing of Chinese star Wu Lei in January has prompted a flurry of activity for the club in his home country. The 27-year-old’s debut against Villarreal, a 12-minute substitute appearance, saw viewing figures in China hit a reported 40 million and the Xinghui Interactive Entertainment-owned club have since signed regionally-focused deals with the San Gao FC soccer school and Chinese translation technology company iFlytek.

For LD Sports the reported deal continues its push into Europe. In May, the company became Chinese-owned Southampton’s shirt sponsor in a deal that was questioned at the time as the company did not yet have an operational platform in the UK. It has since gone live featuring dedicated channels to the Saints and Espanyol.

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