A Spanish wine brand owned by China’s biggest wine producer Changyu is set to become the official wine provider of LaLiga.

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This story first appeared on DecanterChina.com.

LaLiga, the top level of Spain’s professional football league, announced last week that Marques del Atrio of China’s Changyu group is to become its official wine until June 2019.

LaLiga hosts a number of the world’s top footballing teams including Real Madrid and Barcelona, and players such as Barca’s Andrés Iniesta have started their own wine companies.

Marques del Atrio is a Navarra-based Spanish wine producing company. Changyu Pioneer Wine, China’s biggest wine producer, purchased a 75% share in November 2015.

After the purchase, Marques del Atrio wines now account for 11% of imported Spanish wine sold in China, according to Changyu.

By promoting its Spanish range to the ‘2.1 billion potential viewers’ of LaLiga matches, Changyu aims to further boost the sales of its imported wine range in China while promoting its own brand abroad.

‘Our target is to make Marques del Atrio the top Spanish wine brand in China,’ said SUN Jian, vice president of Changyu, which has its head quarter in Shandong province.

‘Our aim is to expand our brand and this partnership with Marques del Atrio is strategic,’ said Adolfo Bara, LaLiga’s managing director of sales, marketing and sponsorship, ‘given that it’s a gateway into the Chinese market and will further cement our position in Spain thanks to one of the world’s biggest wine groups.’

With the Chinese wine producer gaining more brand exposure in the international market, ‘we hope more global consumers will in turn recognise and enjoy Chinese wines,’ said WANG Qi, vice president of China Alcoholic Drinks Association.

Marques de Atrio was established in 19th century. The company currently produces ‘20 million bottles’ of wines annually, including D.O.C. Rioja, D.O. Navarra and D.O. Rias-Baixas. The winemaking is overseen by the Rivero Family.