Yingli Solar – the world’s largest vertically integrated photovoltaic (“PV”) module manufacturer – was the first Chinese and renewable energy company to sponsor a FIFA World Cup event even way back in 2010 in South Africa. This year’s game will see the installation of solar panels on at least two main stadiums, namely the Arena Pernambuco in Recife and the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro, where the final will be played.
The Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro – one of the largest stadiums in South America – have installed 390 kilowatt peak (kWp) of solar panels sufficient to power 240 homes a year while reducing Brazil’s carbon emission by 2560 tons each year. On the other hand, the Arena Pernambuco is now powered with clean energy from a 1 megawatt (MW) solar power plant. Arena Pernambuco’s solar PV system will generate over 1500 MWh of clean energy per year that will meet 30% of the region’s electricity demand. The Chinese manufacturer is providing 3,650 monocrystalline PANDA Series panels for a fix-tilted ground-mounted system on 15,000 square meters of land near the stadium.
Solar in Sports
In the 83 years of soccer history, this World Cup marks a benchmark as being one of the most environmentally sustainable events that has ever been staged.
Apart from facilitating solar power in the above mentioned stadiums, Yingli Solar will also provide charging stations in stadiums as well as solar powered information towers. The company is not only targeting residential consumers, but seems to be interested in making connections with global sports franchises and stadiums. The Yingli Solar–FIFA partnership has already grabbed the attention of several stadiums around Brazil, as well as NFL’s New York Jets.
In 2012, Yingli Solar had teamed up with the U.S. Soccer Federation to promote solar energy. The company has strong associations with soccer and it has got key sponsorship agreements with FC Bayern Munich.
The World Cup serves as a perfect marketing platform to sell any company’s products globally be it beer to sports jerseys. But who would have thought of solar? Notably, World Cup viewership is on the upswing in the U.S. Since the 2006 tournament, the viewership has gone up by about 70%. As California, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Pennsylvania are the biggest solar panel markets in the world, the company’s sponsorship of the FIFA World Cup might generate widespread interest and brand recall in these markets.
As per media reports, Yingli Solar has seen a boost in PV module shipments in the past few years thanks to the World Cup effect. Its shipments skyrocketed with 2.2 gigawatts (GW) in 2012 and 3.2 GW in 2013.