A Chinese Internet company has said it is paying French football player Nicolas Anelka 2.7 million euros to endorse a new online game, as the striker gears up for his first season in China.
The9 Limited, an online game developer and operator in China, said Anelka would promote “Firefall”, in which players fire sophisticated weapons to survive on a post-apocalyptic Earth.
The US-listed company said it had also tied up with Anelka’s new team, Shanghai Shenhua, to promote the online game in an endorsement deal. The major shareholder of Shenhua, Zhu Jun, is also chairperson and chief executive officer of The9, the company said in a statement released on Sunday.
Under the deal, Shenhua players will wear jerseys with the game’s logo at all their matches. “A big portion of Firefall gamers are also soccer fans, most of whom are male, passionate about sports, and actively followers of entertainment stories of sport stars,” the company’s vice-president of marketing, Chris Shen, said in the statement.
Anelka, who most recently played for English Premiership club Chelsea, joined the Shanghai team earlier this month. Shenhua has declined to release financial details of his contract.
A spokesperson for Shenhua said that the club would hold training sessions in Spain after the Chinese Lunar New Year in late January, and Anelka would join the other players in Europe.
Shanghai Shenhua, 11th in China’s Super League last season, is the latest stop on Anelka’s career, which has also seen spells at Paris Saint-Germain, Liverpool, Manchester City, Bolton Wanderers and Turkey’s Fenerbahce. [Source: Sport 24]