|A worker at Dongguan Wagon Enterprise in Guangdong province makes Word Cup trophies on Wednesday. Chen Fan/For China Daily|
It might be very odd to associate China with the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, given that the country has only qualified once, and that was 12 years ago.
But a growing number of domestic companies have been involved in making products for the event, which opens early Friday morning, Beijing time.
For example, the Brazuca, the official ball under the Adidas brand, was produced by YaYork Plastic Products in Shenzhen, Guangdong province.
The balls, which sell for 1,299 yuan ($209) each, were shipped to Hong Kong and then distributed to Brazil and other markets, according to a manager surnamed Dai from YaYork.
The factory is a subsidiary of Taipei-based Long Way Enterprise, a partner and supplier of Adidas since 1997. It also sold more than 13 million official balls for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Many Chinese companies authorized to manufacture World Cup products have reported a sharp growth in business.
In Yiwu, Zhejiang province, which is famous for manufacturing and exporting small commodities, the export of sport products to Brazil increased 41.7 percent year-on-year to $1.25 million in the first half of the year, sources with the local customs said.
In Dongguan, Guangdong province, Wang Xiangyu, a design manager of the Dongguan Wagon Enterprise, is also happy about rising orders.
"Being authorized to produce World Cup-related products has greatly helped to boost business growth," Wang said.
The company manufactures replicas of the trophy and supplies ceramics, plastic gifts, stationery and accessories including cellphone cases, key rings and cup mats.
The company has produced more than 1.5 million models of the World Cup trophy and 400 other products related to the event.
"The trophy models are selling well in Brazil and 16 other overseas markets such as Japan, the United States and Australia," Wang said.
Some of the trophies even sold for more than 10,000 yuan, according to Wang.
As a manufacturer specializing in souvenirs for big sports events, the company is preparing to produce items for the next big gala — the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
It was not the first time that Dongguan, a manufacturing hub in the heart of the Pearl River, has developed businesses associated with the world’s big sports events. In 2012, the city produced more than 30 percent of the souvenirs for the London Olympics.
A growing number of Chinese fans will go to the stadiums in Brazil as more tickets and hospitality deals have been sold on the Chinese market.
"There is no Chinese team participating in the competition, but China has become the largest market for hospitality deals in Asia for the soccer event in Brazil," said Feng Tao, CEO of sports market firm Shankai Sports International.
The Beijing-based company was appointed as exclusive sales agent of hospitality package deals, which include tickets, visiting scenic spots, hotels and transportation services for the World Cup.
Chen Hong in Shenzhen contributed to this story.