Youths play with a ball on the first day of the 2018 Fifa World Cup in central Moscow, Russia. Picture: REUTERS/SERGEI KARPUKHIN
Youths play with a ball on the first day of the 2018 Fifa World Cup in central Moscow, Russia. Picture: REUTERS/SERGEI KARPUKHIN

Fewer global brands have signed sponsorship deals for this year’s soccer World Cup and fans are likely to be exposed to a clutch of Chinese brands looking to expand their influence.

Brands such as Coca-Cola, Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group, Visa and adidas remain on board, while Continental, Castrol and Johnson & Johnson ended their association after the 2015 Fifa corruption scandal.

Newcomers include Qatar Airways, Russian state oil giant Gazprom and the China-based Wanda Group, which calls itself the world’s biggest private property developer. Mengniu, China’s second-largest dairy company, has signed a sponsorship deal granting it the right to air commercials during 64 World Cup games. It will also supply "official drinking yoghurt".

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