Spartak Moscow are teaming up with Chery in a new sponsorship agreement
Russia's most successful football team in terms of domestic titles, Spartak Moscow, have announced they are partnering with Chinese automaker Chery for a new deal.
Current Russian Premier League leaders Spartak announced the news on their website on Thursday, revealing that the agreement would run until the end of the 2022/23 season.
The Chinese automaker, which is headquartered in Wuhu, will provide Spartak with a fleet of vehicles under the terms of the deal.
The Chery logo will also be added to Spartak players' kit alongside the likes of primary sponsors Lukoil in time for the upcoming derby against Moscow rival Dynamo in the Russian capital on Saturday.
"We are confident that our partnership will be mutually beneficial, useful and fruitful," said Spartak general director Evgeny Melezhikov.
"We are very pleased that such a dynamically developing company as Chery supports Spartak."
The director of Chery's Russian branch, Vladimir Shmakov, described 22-time Soviet/Russian champions Spartak as a "legendary" club.
"This is a great event for us, because the name of Spartak alone stops the hearts of millions of fans. It is very exciting and responsible," said Shmakov.
Chery will also offer Spartak fans special services and a favorable car deals if they join certain programs, it was added.
The club and company will also join forces for charity projects, and Chery branding will be applied to Spartak's Otkritie Bank Arena home stadium.
The move comes after some foreign automakers have shut up shop in Russia following the outbreak of the conflict with Ukraine, with the likes of Volkswagen, Renault and Mitsubishi all ending production.
In broader terms of cooperation with China, however, Russian trade with its Asian neighbor is set to reach new heights, according to Beijing's ambassador to Moscow.
Zhang Hanhui said last week that total trade could hit $200 billion this year.
"Russian-Chinese trade and economic cooperation shows excellent results and sustainable development, despite the tests associated with the pandemic, the global economic downturn and the difficult international and regional situation," Zhang told RIA Novosti.
Spartak will be hoping their new Chinese sponsors can drive them to success when they travel to Dynamo Moscow on Saturday.
Managed by 33-year-old Spaniard Guille Abascal, Spartak head into the clash at the top of the Russian table with a two-point cushion over reigning champions Zenit St. Petersburg after five games played.
Dynamo, meanwhile, are down in sixth - picking up nine points across their five games, compared to Spartak's 13.
Totally dominant in Russian football in the 1990s, Spartak fans were forced to wait 16 years between title successes in 2001 and 2017 - the latter of which was the last time they won the Russian top tier.
There was silverware joy last season, however, as the red-whites eased the disappointment of a 10th-place league finish with a dramatic victory in the Russian Cup final against Dynamo.