NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Alibaba Group (BABA) - Get Report are up 0.19% to $79.50 in early afternoon trading on Wednesday as the company is in talks about becoming a major sponsor of FIFA, according to sources cited by Bloomberg.

A potential partnership could bolster ties between China's power brokers and the world's top soccer executives.

The e-commerce giant would become the second Chinese company to commit to soccer's governing body at a high level after Dalian Wanda Group signed up earlier this year, Bloomberg notes.

A deal has not been finalized and details are not known. It could involve any of the company's subsidiaries or affiliates.

Since Chinese President Xi Jinping has highlighted soccer success as a national priority, Chinese companies and businessmen have made various investments in national and international clubs, Bloomberg said.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings Team has a "Hold" rating with a score of C- on the stock.

The primary factors that have impacted the rating are mixed. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its notable return on equity, robust revenue growth and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures.

However, the team finds that the stock has had a generally disappointing performance in the past year.

Recently, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: BABA

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