The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa today signed the historic commercial contract with partners DDMC Fortis which secures the financial future of the game in Asia for a decade.

In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – the home of the AFC Headquarters – Shaikh Salman and Dr Yi Rentao, the Chairman of DDMC Fortis, signed the deal which gives the exclusive rights to DDMC Fortis to market the AFC’s commercial properties for the next two cycles that take place from 2021 – 2028 – starting with the FIFA World Cup 2022 final qualifying round. 

The AFC President said: “This is a most significant day in the history of the AFC. With the signing of this contract, the AFC can guarantee its Member Associations that the game in Asia has tremendously solid financial foundations from which to build.  

“I am grateful to DDMC Fortis for the confidence and trust that they have shown in the current success and future potential of the Asian Football Confederation. The game in Asia has never been in a better position and we should cherish that.” Dr. Yi Rentao, Chairman of DDMC Fortis and Wuhan DDMC Culture Co. Ltd said: “We are extremely proud to sign this contract and enter into this significant partnership becoming the first Chinese enterprise to have secured such a comprehensive commercial mandate for a prestigious global football property. We see this partnership an opportunity for DDMC to carry out the important “Belt and Road” strategy.  

“DDMC Fortis was created specifically for the purpose of delivering this prestigious mandate for the AFC. We built the company by combining DDMC, a leading Chinese Sports, Media and Entertainment company, with Fortis Sports, an expert sports marketing agency founded by Patrick Murphy and David Tyler. By combining the global market expertise of the two companies we are in the position to take Asian football to the next level and kick-off a golden decade of growth.” 

The agreement will confirm DDMC Fortis as the exclusive agency for the AFC during the period 2021 -2028 and in turn they will be dedicated entirely to the AFC’s determination to deliver the three AFC Vision statements of being the world’s leading confederation; to produce successful teams and to confirm football as the number one sport in Asia. 

DDMC Fortis are also committed to work with the AFC in developing competitions and events. The partnership will focus on enhancing the competition brands with particular emphasis on engaging young audiences across the region. They will also develop and implement the next phase of the AFC’s fan focused marketing and digital strategy from 2021 onwards. 

“We are incredibly enthusiastic about the length of the partnership as we strongly feel that, in cooperation with the AFC, we are in a position to transform the way Asian football is organised, enjoyed and commercialised across Asia,” said DDMC Fortis CEO, Patrick Murphy.  

“We are excited to begin this journey of a new era in Asian football in partnership with the AFC. We believe a key factor to success will be the creation of a marketing and content strategy that focuses on fan entertainment and engagement.” 

After the signing the AFC President added: “We have reached this historic moment through the strength and unity of our organisation which in turn has allowed the AFC to provide our Member Associations with tailor made support through the President’s Development and Infrastructure Initiatives and the Asian Football Assistance Programme. 

“Alongside so many development initiatives, the AFC has been able to grow our competitions to the level where they are considered among the best in the world and we have seen the standards of our teams rise on the world stage.” 

The AFC President also praised the good governance and integrity of the process which led to the appointment of DDMC Fortis and added: “We are now looking forward with great excitement to working closely with our new partners. 

“The potential in this Continent is enormous and, of course, it will be the focal point for the football world when the FIFA World Cup comes to Asia for a second time in 2022. I am convinced that, with the wise use of the new finances available, our Member Associations will reach new heights and the overall standard of football and administration will continue to improve.’ 

The AFC Member Associations will be given an overview of how AFC plans to invest the current funds in 2019 and 2020 at the 28th AFC Congress which will also be held in Kuala Lumpur on October 31.

About Asian Football Confederation (AFC) 

Asia is home to the world’s biggest football stadium, with over two thirds of the world’s population and an unrivalled passion for football. The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) represents Asia in the world of football, covering the diverse continent with 46 Member Associations and one Associate Member across five zones – ASEAN, Central, East, South and West. 

The AFC is the guardian of the game in Asia, promoting and protecting football. It is the AFC’s vision to be the world’s leading Confederation, ensure more successful Asian teams on the world stage and confirming football as the number one sport throughout the Continent. 

Media contact from AFC: Colin Gibson, Director of Communications, +6012 3391459 or 

About DDMC Fortis  

DDMC Fortis was created specifically to deliver the commercial rights for the AFC. DDMC Fortis is a joint venture between Fortis Sports, an expert sports marketing agency founded in Switzerland by leading industry figures Patrick Murphy and David Tyler; and Wuhan DDMC Culture Co. Ltd, a leading Chinese Sports, Media and Entertainment company listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange (stock code: SH 600136). Headquartered in Hong Kong with future offices in Beijing, the Middle East and South East Asia, it combines unparalleled global football experience with in-depth Asian know-how and expertise.

DDMC’s sports businesses are active across sports marketing, sports agency, media rights trading, sports content platforms, venue operations and club management. DDMC’s football rights portfolio includes: UEFA European Championships, UEFA Nations League, La Liga and the Copa del Rey. 

Fortis Sports HKG, now a subsidiary of DDMC, was created and led by Patrick Murphy and David Tyler, both with over 25 years of expert experience in the commercialisation of European and global football.  Its principals, who are now part of DDMC Fortis, have extensive experience at the highest levels of sports marketing globally including expertise in Asia.

DDMC Fortis contacts for press enquiries: Dejah Meldem, EVP Marketing & Digital | + 852 6205 6393, and Dexin Liu, DDMC Brand, General Manager +86-18602753503,