The International Swimming Federation (FINA) has signed a sponsorship deal with Chinese mineral water supplier Nongfu Spring to cover several of its top-tier events, it was announced today.
The four-year agreement struck between swimming's worldwide governing body and the Hangzhou-based company will see Nongfu Spring act as partner of the next two editions of the FINA World Championships.
It includes this year's event in Gwangju and the 2021 edition in Fukuoka in Japan.
The sponsorship deal also applies to the FINA World Short Course Swimming Championships in 2020 and 2022, as well as the Diving World Series and Swimming World Cup competitions from this year through to 2022.
It does not feature the new Champions Swim Series, however.
The series of events, viewed by many as a direct response from FINA to criticism from athletes who were allegedly barred from taking part in new International Swimming League events, includes a stop in China.
Guangzhou is due to host the opening Champions Swim Series leg from April 27 to 28.
FINA claim Nongfu Spring is a "well-known and respected for the natural and healthy products it commercialises and for its commitment towards sustainability and protection of natural water sources in China".
NongFu Spring is also China's leading mineral water brand by market share.
"FINA is extremely honoured and pleased to partner with China’s leading water supplier for FINA’s signature events," said FINA President Julio Maglione.
"Our World Championships, as well as our major swimming and diving series will definitely benefit from this new agreement with NongFu Spring which will provide more visibility for our athletes in an important sports market, China.”