Alibaba has struck a deal with the Fédération Internationale de Football Association that will make Alibaba Cloud, the technology giant’s cloud-computing arm, a Presenting Partner for the FIFA Club World Cup through 2022.
Starting at this year’s tournament, which runs Dec. 6-16 in the United Arab Emirates, Alibaba Cloud will design and present the Most Valuable Player award. The partnership replaces a previous one formed two years ago with Alibaba E-Auto.
Alibaba Cloud President Simon Hu in a statement said the agreement with FIFA is part of a larger push by the business unit to promote “inclusive technology,” which grants access to the latest advances in cloud-computing and artificial intelligence, as well as other innovations, to as many people as possible.
“By becoming a major partner of the FIFA Club World Cup, we hope to show how our technology can bring new aspects of fun and enjoyment to fans of sports, including those people who might have had barriers to access or participate before,” he said.
Alibaba Cloud’s cloud-computing infrastructure has already been put to work for major international events such as the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, where it helped to process spikes in traffic and transactions. In sports, its technology is used to support operational efficiencies and analytics processing.
“We are aware of the substantial value that Alibaba Cloud provides to business in terms of technical support and global reaching services,” said Iain Downie, FIFA’s director of marketing sales and strategy.
“We can only see great potential in this fresh collaboration related to the FIFA Club World Cup,” he said.
The Club World Cup finalists are the most recent champions from the six soccer confederations in Africa, Asia, Europe, Oceania, North America and South America, as well as the tournament’s host country. In the opening game, Abu Dhabi’s Al Jazira will pair off against New Zealand’s Auckland City.