Asian gaming giant Melco Resorts and Entertainment has entered a partnership with City Football Group, the holding company that owns English Premier League champion Manchester City.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it was confirmed that Melco will now become an official partner of Manchester City in Japan.
Melco will now also serve as the community presenting partner of Yokohama F. Marinos, City’s sister club that competes in the Japanese J1 League. Melco will work with the team to stage community programmes and events around the world.
“At Melco, we look for shared ambition and 21st century values; in Manchester City and Marinos we have found perfect partners – businesses that excel at entertaining, whilst putting community first,” Melco chairman and chief executive Lawrence Ho said.
“Melco’s connections to Japan run deep, so being able to support grassroots community programmes across the country is an exciting opportunity for us all.”
Damian Willoughby, senior vice-president of partnerships at City Football Group, added: “Melco and Manchester City share a common approach to have entertainment at the heart of everything we do, providing great experiences for our fans and visitors.
“We are also both committed to using football as a force for good and are excited for the launch of Melco’s new community football programme in Japan.”
Earlier this year, Melco signed a definitive purchase agreement to acquire a 19.99% stake in Australian gaming operator Crown Resorts in a deal worth approximately AUD$1.76bn (£976m/€1.06bn/US$1.87bn).