- Sponsorship designed to increase awareness of the premium Continental tire brand in the APAC region and the Middle East

- Rights package also includes the 2018 AFC Women's Asian Cup, the final round of Asian qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, and the 2018 AFC U22 Championship

- In Asia and the Middle East, Continental can build on 20 years' experience in the sponsorship of the world's leading football events

SHANGHAI and HANOVER, Germany, Nov. 13, 2015 (Antara/PRNewswire) -- International tire manufacturer Continental today announced that its Tire Division is to be Official Sponsor of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup which will be staged in the United Arab Emirates. Through this move, Continental is driving forward the systematic regionalization of its sports sponsorship strategy. The extensive rights package also includes the qualifiers for the 12 best teams in the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019, the 2018 AFC Women's Asian Cup, the final round of Asian qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, and the AFC 2018 U22 Championship, where the qualifying places for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo will also be awarded.

"The AFC Asian Cup is the most important football competition in the APAC region and the Middle East, where we are looking to grow our market share in the next few years. To support this growth we are keen to actively promote our premium brand and position it in the perception of car drivers as a possible alternative in the car tire segment," says Nikolai Setzer, Member of the Executive Board of Continental responsible for the Tire Division. "We also expect the media coverage of the qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo to be particularly extensive in both regions and are therefore assuming that we will achieve a marked increase in awareness of our premium Continental brand by 2020."

According to AFC Acting General Secretary Dato' Windsor John: "The partnership with Continental underlines the growing importance and attraction of football in Asia and in particular our exciting and successful flagship competitions - the Asian Cup and the Women's Asian Cup as well as the under 22 competition. Continental has a long and distinguished history in football and we thank them for their commitment to the AFC as this signifies another important milestone in our continued development of both the sport and our commercial portfolio in Asia." Lagardere Sports, the Asian Football Confederation's (AFC) exclusive marketing and commercial partner, brokered the deal between Continental and AFC.

"We've had some very positive experiences of sponsorship activities in the run-up to the 2015 AFC Asian Cup that took place early this year in Australia, as well as with Team China Football since 2014, and we will be systematically continuing these activities," adds Philipp von Hirschheydt, who is responsible for the Passenger and Light Truck Tires Replacement segment in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region at Continental. "The timing of this commitment is simply ideal for us, because at the same time we are engaged in substantially expanding the annual capacity of our main passenger and light truck tire plant in Hefei, China. This is set to rise from its current level of five million units to as many as 13 million units in the next few years to meet the growing demand for our regionally manufactured premium products. After we invested some EUR250 million in the initial phase, this expansion phase will account for another approximately EUR250 million by 2019."

Today Continental can look back on more than 20 years of successful sponsorship of the most important football events worldwide. And with current sponsorship deals covering UEFA EURO 2016TM in France and the European qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, which run until November 2017, as well as Major League Soccer in the US and Canada up until 2018, and the 2019 AFC Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates, the Corporation holds attractive rights packages in the world's most important regional markets. At Continental, football sponsorship is traditionally fully integrated into the Company's marketing communications.
At www.ContiSoccerWorld.com Continental provides comprehensive coverage of the various competitions.

Asian Football Confederation (AFC)

The Asian Football Confederation is the continental governing body for football in Asia and comprises 47 countries. The pinnacle competition for the national teams is the Asian Cup (won in 2015 by Australia) and the Women's Asian Cup (won in 2014 by Japan). The 2019 Asian Cup will be held in the United Arab Emirates. In 2016 the AFC U22 Championship will be held in Qatar between Jan 12-30.

Tire Division

The Tire Division currently has 24 production and development locations worldwide. The broad product range and continuous investments in R&D make a major contribution to cost-effective and ecologically efficient mobility. As one of the world's leading tire manufacturers with more than 47,000 employees, the Tire Division achieved sales of EUR9.8 billion in 2014.



The Tire Division is an official sponsor of UEFA EURO 2016TM in France, Major League Soccer in the US and Canada, and the 2019 AFC Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates.


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