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Yankees sign first-ever Chinese-based sponsor
06/25/2007 4:06 PM ET
The New York Yankees today became the first Major League club to enter into a sponsorship agreement with a company from the People's Republic of China, announcing an agreement with China's largest dairy company, the Yili Group, to advertise within the Yankees' local territory.

As part of the agreement, Yili will receive advertising exposure at Yankee Stadium and in Yankees Magazine, the official game program of the New York Yankees. Yili will receive prominent branding visibility on July 6 when the Yankees introduce left handed pitcher Kai Liu and catcher Zhenwang Zhang, who became the first players from the People's Republic of China to sign with a Major League club with approval from the Chinese Baseball Association on June 19. Earlier this year the Yankees and the Chinese Baseball Association entered into an historic working agreement.

Randy Levine, President of the Yankees, said, "We are very pleased to welcome Yili to the Yankees family as our first sponsor based in China. The Yankees have always been committed to international baseball and international business and China is very important to us. This agreement with Yili is yet another example of how far-reaching the Yankees brand has become and how dedicated we are to growing baseball, and the business of baseball, in China."

Michael Tusiani, Yankees Senior Vice President of Corporate Sales and Sponsorships said, "Securing a sponsorship with Yili Group is a very unique and exciting opportunity for the Yankees organization. Moreover, we hope to continue to generate sponsorship interest from global-based companies, including those based throughout Asia."

The Yili Group is the leading dairy industry enterprise in China. In 2005, Yili products became the official dairy products of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games with Yili becoming the first food brand supporter of the Beijing Olympics. Yili Group was recognized with the 2005 CCTV Best Employers of China award and the 2005 China Best Corporate Citizen Acts award.

Womei Beijing Advertising, one of China's leading advertising agencies, represented Yili Group while Sportscorp China assisted the Yankees in securing the sponsorship.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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