by ASSOCIATED PRESS
Video sharing app TikTok was announced as a sponsor for this year’s European Championship on Thursday, becoming the fourth Chinese backer of the football tournament.
No value was disclosed for the deal, which was confirmed eight months after Euro 2020 was due to start. The 24-team tournament was postponed by one year because of the coronavirus pandemic – a decision UEFA said then could cost “hundreds of millions” of dollars.
The potential influence of young TikTok users was shown last June when they were cited as a reason for inflated expectations for attendance at former U.S. President Donald Trump’s campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The deal was negotiated against the backdrop of an ongoing court action after the Trump administration tried to ban TikTok from smartphone app stores as a threat to national security unless it came under greater American control. The Biden administration, however, is putting on hold a deal brokered by the Trump administration that would have had Oracle and Walmart buying a big stake in popular video app, according to a Wall Street Journal report Wednesday.
Chinese companies now comprise four of UEFA’s 11 main tournament sponsors. TikTok joins Alipay, Hisense and Vivo.
UEFA said fans could use the app to “create their own special moments, reactions and celebrations around the tournament.”
“UEFA will also give TikTok access to its huge library of historical assets to develop highly engaging and innovative content,” the European football body said.