The World Cup is a massive deal in China, even though the country’s men’s team have only ever made it to one finals (played 3, won 0, scored 0, conceded 9). With all the hype around the tournament there have been some huge sponsorship deals involving Chinese companies, and so our photo theme this week is World Cup Stars Selling Shit.
No doubt you keep a close eye on which milk companies are signing on as second tier sponsors for FIFA’s World Cup, but just in case you missed it Inner Mongolia-based China Mengniu Dairy Co joined the sponsorship party late last year.
The company is reportedly spending a cool 2 billion RMB (310 million USD) on World Cup-related marketing events, as it still looks to rebuild its image following China’s 2008 tainted milk scandal. Some of that money is going into the pockets of Argentinian footballing god Lionel Messi, who signed on as an “ambassador” for the brand in February.
Part of that tie-up includes the five-time Ballon d’Or winner being rendered in CGIed milk form:
And part of that commercial sees him lying on the floor, which given the way results have gone so far at this World Cup has now become a meme among Chinese netizens:
“I’m Messi, and I had a penalty saved by a director of adverts” (a reference to Icelandic keeper Hannes Halldorsson, a part-time filmmaker)
“I’m Joachim Löw. I found a way to go further than Messi”
“I’m Messi, and I feel a lot better now” (in comparison to Neymar)
Mengniu aren’t the only Chinese company Messi shills for incidentally. He’s also part of team Huawei:
Which makes sense, given they both know a thing or two about suffering from penalties. Zing!
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