Toyota became a full Asian Football Confederation partner in a signing ceremony in Manila on Saturday. The Japanese automobile company strengthens its involvement with Asian football by committing to the continental body’s Club Programme for a further two years to add to their existing National Programme agreement.

An official sponsor of AFC national team tournaments since 2012, Toyota will also officially sponsor AFC club competitions, such as the AFC Champions League, the AFC Cup and the AFC Futsal Club tournaments.

AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa welcomed the enhancement of Toyota’s commitment to Asian football and their relationship with the AFC. 

“We are delighted to welcome Toyota as a full partner of the AFC in the year of our 60th anniversary. Toyota is one of the leaders in the automobile industry globally and they have been supporting  Asian football for a long time,” said Shaikh Salman.

“The AFC believes Toyota will maximise its sponsorship programme as an AFC partner and the AFC will also receive great benefits from Toyota’s activities. 

“The automobile category is very important in Asia and this field will only get bigger and more important. The AFC is fully appreciative of Toyota’s support and believes this enhanced relationship will mutually strengthen our bond and benefit our long-term partnership.”

Founded in 1937, Toyota Motor Co., Ltd. is the twelfth-largest company in the world by revenue and is the world’s first automobile manufacturer to produce more than 10 million vehicles per year. In 2012 and 2013, Toyota was the world’s biggest automaker and continues in 2014 to be one of the world’s leading auto sellers.

In recent years, Toyota has been an active supporter of football throughout the continent including the Toyota Thai Premier League, the Myanmar National League and the Toyota Mekong Club Championship, among others.

Mr. Masanao Tomozoe, President, Toyota Motor Sales and Marketing Corporation, said: “Becoming an AFC Partner will enable Toyota to further pursue its self-chosen mission to promote football in Asia, the Middle East, Australia and elsewhere. This includes on the grassroots level, at which Toyota intends to work with the AFC to promote the federation’s local activities in several countries aiming at cultivating youth. Thus, Toyota will able to more fully contribute to regional society through football, including through raising the level of sport in Asia.”

World Sport Group, who are the exclusive marketing partner of the AFC, hailed the move as a further milestone for the AFC and its commercial programme. 

“We are all very happy to see long-time supporters Toyota reaffirm their commitment to the AFC by becoming a full partner of the governing body,” said Tom Smith, President, East Asia, World Sport Group.

“This agreement between Toyota and the AFC demonstrates the impressive growth Asian football has enjoyed and its increase in
popularity and value to sponsors. 

“With the 2015 AFC Asian Cup kicking off in January and the 2015 AFC Champions League beginning just a month later, this is an exciting time for all involved with the continental game.”

The new partnership was officially formalised at a signing ceremony between the AFC President and Mr. Tomozoe at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel in Manila on Saturday.

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