Here are the top China sports business news stories you need to know from this week:
Alibaba Finances Suning Sports
Alibaba has made a significant investment in Suning Sports as part of Suning Sports’ A-round financing. Total investment is rumoured to be close to $600 million, valuing the company at over RMB 10 billion. Alibaba-owned Youku will launch its new Youku Sports channel in collaboration with Suning-owned PP Sports, as they aim to deliver a comprehensive digital sports content network to sports fans in China. Read more on Ecosports (Chinese) and SportBusiness (English)
Nike & CR7 Tour China
Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo recently embarked on a 2-day tour of China with his global sponsor Nike. Ronaldo was in China’s capital city of Beijing for 2 days where he spent his time at Nike’s flagship China store and visiting popular landmarks and soccer camps. The main theme of his tour was “dare to become”, with the aim of inspiring Chinese fans and football-playing teenagers. Read More on Netease (Chinese)
- Mailman Take: Following on from the impact of the FIFA World Cup, transfer to Juventus and now a second consecutive summer tour to China, Cristiano Ronaldo’s brand continues to go from strength to strength. As well as featuring in Nike’s new product launch event in Beijing and making an appearance at Nike’s campus football league final match, Ronaldo also appeared on a popular Chinese talk show. CR7 has a huge impact across Chinese social media, with 2.6 million followers on his Weibo account. Ronaldo’s arrival has spurred Juventus’ online fanbase in China to grow to 850,000 across Weibo, Douyin, and WeChat (+53% vs June 2018).
Dwyane Wade Signs Lifetime Deal with Li-Ning
American basketball player Dwayne Wade and Chinese apparel company Li-Ning announced that the three-time NBA champion has signed a lifetime contract with the brand. Wade has represented Li-Ning since 2012, and the deal coincided with Wade and Li-Ning revealing his latest shoe, the ‘Way of Wade 7’ at an event in Beijing. Read more on ESPN (English) and Sohu (Chinese)
Inter Milan Adds Educational Partner
Meten, a Chinese education organisation, has partnered with Serie A side Inter Milan as an official Chinese regional sponsor. During the signing ceremony, Meten also introduced its brand ambassador, football legend Lothar Matthäus. Read more on Dongqiudi (Chinese)
Arsenal Caught Up in Fraud Case with BYD
Premier League football club Arsenal is helping a Chinese investigation after it was potentially caught up in a fraud around its sponsorship deal with Chinese carmaker BYD. Read more on the BBC (English) and Ecosports (Chinese)
Victor Title Sponsors Badminton’s China Open
Taiwanese badminton equipment manufacturer Victor will become the title sponsor for the Badminton China Open. The China Open is a tier-two event on the HSBC BWF World Tour – Super 1000 events. The partnership is contracted from 2018 to 2020. Read more on Victor’s official Website
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