New Hampshire, USA — Two rising stars, the U.S. solar market and U.S. soccer, joined forces today. Yingli Solar announced that it would be sponsoring the U.S. Soccer National Teams through 2014. This marks Yingli as the first official renewable energy sponsor of U.S. Soccer.
With both the solar industry and U.S. soccer on the rise nationally, the sponsorship seems like a perfect match. Solar PV installations have increased 527 percent since 2006 to reach 878 MW, while the recent U.S. vs Japan final Women’s World Cup match brought in a record 13.5 million viewers. Average attendance at U.S. Men’s National Team matches has increased 60 percent since 2007, with top solar energy states California, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Pennsylvania playing host to key matches.
Yingli has had experience in the soccer world, sponsoring the 2010 FIFA World Cup and set to sponsor in 2014. “We wanted to be consistent in what we were involved in and wanted to make sure the platform that we use also exhibited similar growth profiles to the industry we are in,” Robert Petrina, Managing Director of Yingli Americas. “We think the U.S. National Teams have shown tremendous growth over the last few years as solar has, so it tied in nicely.”
Yingli recently announced that it had shipped over 250 MW to North America and contributes to 15 percent of the U.S. Market. “This is a natural extension of our fast growth in the U.S. Market,” said Petrina. The company hopes to use this sponsorship as a platform to reach a huge number of people passionate about both soccer and renewables.
Not only will Yingli be sponsoring U.S. Soccer, it will also collaborate in a philanthropic initiative that is set to provide solar for disadvantaged athletic centers across the U.S. “Working closely with a leading renewable energy company will give us the opportunity to enhance our social and environmental activities through a number of different initiatives over the next few years,” said U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati in a press release. Yingli will be participating in this program throughout 2014.
“We’re looking to not only bring solar to the people who need it most, we are also looking to bring the message of clean renewable energy to future generations,” said Petrina.
The partnership launches during tonight’s U.S. Men’s National Team match versus Mexico at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia at 9 p.m. ET, which airs live on ESPN2, ESPN3.com and Univision. Jurgen Klinsmann will also make his debut as the U.S. Men’s National Team head coach.