AUSTRALIA'S leading luxury retail brand, Kennedy, today announced its partnership of the Australian Football League's China game and operations until at least the end of the 2021 season.

The partnership will establish Kennedy's position as an 'Official Match Day Partner', with teams playing for the 'Kennedy Cup' over the next three years. 

SAINTS LOCKED IN Port to tackle St Kilda in Shanghai until 2021

Kennedy Executive Chairman James Kennedy said the agreement would help foster continued development of the game in both China and among Australia's growing Chinese community. 

"To be able to support the AFL in the promotion and delivery of our great game into China is a significant sponsorship for Kennedy and one we are proud to be part of," Mr Kennedy said.

"As a proud and passionate footy fan first and foremost, the AFL's China game is an exciting partnership to enter into.  

"The business and economic relationship with China and Asia as a whole, is significant to the Kennedy organisation as well as to wider Australia.  

"The Chinese and wider Asian community, both locally and internationally, have been loyal to the Kennedy business and we are thrilled to be able to give a little back and support this wonderful partnership between China and the AFL," he said.

AFL General Manager of China, David Stevenson, welcomed the Kennedy sponsorship, saying it reflects the opportunities to engage with our largest trading partner through sport. 

"Kennedy is well regarded among our Chinese community and inbound luxury travellers and will be a fantastic partner for the AFL in our efforts to grow the game in China. 

"Our partnership will drive commercial outcomes in China for both organisations but importantly also grow our game, which in turn will enable us to connect back into Australia's Chinese population, to ensure we live our purpose – to progress the game so that everyone can share in its heritage and possibilities."

"This support highlights the increased commercial interest that will ensure the Shanghai game becomes a marquee event in the Australia-China business calendar, where Australian businesses can entertain their Chinese customers, and clients at the footy," Mr Stevenson said. 

The partnership, which includes naming rights for the Kennedy Official Match Day Function at Jiangwan Stadium, also goes beyond game day benefits with Kennedy becoming the first AFL China Foundation Partner.