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  • Writer's pictureDenis Green

Asia Sports Business Weekly | 19th April

Hello Industry Friends, here is the very latest news and insights from Asia.

📰 Key Headlines: Formula One returns to Shanghai for the first time since 2019, China Open 2024 expands tennis offering and quality, Eclat maintains UEFA club competitions in Korea, Authentic hosts China Press Day, and BVB announces Japan summer tour. 


🗞️ Key Industry News

Formula 1’s Long-Awaited Return to China

F1 is returning to the Shanghai International Circuit for the first time since 2019 this weekend, and a circuit that gained a reputation for producing exciting racing during its first 15-year stint on the calendar. Read more on Sky Sports (English)

💡Our Take: A huge weekend for Shanghai - five years in the making, homegrown talent on the grid, the city’s first-ever sprint race, and plenty of pent-up excitement from fans, brands, and everyone involved in Formula 1. The hottest ticket in China this weekend is undoubtedly the 2024 Shanghai Grand Prix. 


China Open to Serve Up Even More Action

With an expanded women's draw confirmed and some top-tier men's stars set to return, this year's China Open is promising fireworks. Already the biggest combined tennis event in Asia, the China Open 2024 will get bigger and better after organizers announced that its women's tournament will be upgraded to a two-week event with 96 draws, up from 64 last year. Read more on China Daily (English)

💡Our Take: Tennis is up there as one of the most exciting sports for Chinese talent right now, especially off the back of Zheng Qinwen reaching the Australian Open final earlier this year. Chinese fans' hopes are sky-high that a local player can finally repeat Li Na’s success and eventually win a Grand Slam in 2024. The expanded 2024 China Open is yet another sign of how high on the pedestal China’s sporting chiefs are putting tennis, eager to bring top players to compete in the country. 

Eclat Maintains Hold on UEFA Club Competitions in Korea

The media group will enter its fifth consecutive UEFA club competitions rights cycle after renewing its exclusive broadcast rights in South Korea. Currently holding rights in the country during the 2021-24 cycle, Eclat will retain its rights from 2024-25 to 2026-27. It broadcasts coverage on its SPOTV sports pay-television channels and streaming platform. Read more on SportBusiness (English)

💡Our Take: The sports industry is a growing market in South Korea, especially for European football. It is not surprising to see more broadcasters actively pursue broadcasting rights for local and foreign sports. We hope to see interest in the sports industry grow in Korea and to see local as well as international sports cultures become more mainstream and accepted in the country.

Authentic Hosts Inaugural China Press Day in Shanghai

Members of Authentic’s senior leadership team hosted the inaugural Authentic China Press Day in Shanghai, where members of local and regional media gathered to discover the global platform’s innovative business model and iconic portfolio of brands. Held at the Design Republic hub, Authentic leaders provided an overview of the company and its nearly 15-year history as well as its global vision for the Greater China region. Read more on Authentic English & Chinese

Borussia Dortmund Announces Japan Tour

The German team will embark on a preseason match against Cerezo Osaka in Japan, the team which their former player Shinji Kagawa is currently playing for. Read more on Bundesliga (English)

💡 Our Take: Following Real Sociedad, Borussia Dortmund becomes the second European team confirmed to visit Japan in the summer, reassuring the warmth and the great impact that past European clubs have experienced in the nation. This move opens the possibility for potential partnerships along with a bump in attention and revenue from ticket sales.

IBA President Stresses the Role of China in Boxing

International Boxing Association President Umar Kremlev was in China to explore opportunities for organizing Champions’ Night and IBA World Championships in the country. The President’s delegation visited several cities in China, including Beijing, Hangzhou, and Guangzhou. Read more on IBA (English)

💡Our Take: Chinese boxer Zhang Zhilei has put China back on the boxing map in recent years, bringing new audiences and viewership to a sport that was losing ground to MMA and other combat sports. The record-breaking boxing-related movie Yolo has also done wonders to help the sport increase its popularity.

Mercedes' Wolff Names Formula One Return to China 'Important Moment'

Mercedes Motor Sport Chief Toto Wolff has named this week's return of Formula One to China after five years an "important moment" for the sport and the brand. "As the world's largest automotive market and second-largest economy, China is of crucial importance for the sport's global presence," Wolff told dpa. Read more on Yahoo! (English)

Zhang Looks to Restart Title Bid with 'Big Bang'

Neither a former champ in the opposite corner, nor a recent defeat can deter China's heavyweight boxer Zhang Zhilei from punching his way back into title contention once more. Read more on China Daily (English)

300-day Countdown to Asian Winter Games Marked in Harbin

Heilongjiang province and its capital, Harbin, are set to host a high-level 9th Asian Winter Games, helping the province create new growth for the ice and snow economy and build a new highland for opening up to the north. Read more on China Daily (English)

Beijing Half Marathon Results Under Investigation

Organizers are investigating a half marathon race in Beijing after three African runners appeared to let China’s top long-distance runner move ahead of them shortly before the finish line and sprint to victory, sparking public speculation that the result was rigged. Read more on AP (English)

China's Athletes Have Earned Places in 165 Events for Paris Olympics

With the Paris Olympic Games less than 100 days away, China's athletes are set to compete in at least 165 events across various sports, according to the country's General Administration of Sport. At the recent Badminton Asia Championships, Liu Yuchen and Ou Xuanyi of China clinched a men's doubles slot for Paris 2024. This achievement makes China the only team to have secured two Olympic spots in all five badminton categories. Read more on Shine (English)


🤔 Opinion

Formula 1 Shanghai - A Watershed Event for Brand Sponsors

The Formula 1 curtain is finally ready to pull back on Shanghai this weekend after five years closed. Diehard fans have remained patient, fairweather fans have found excitement elsewhere, and brands have spent their marketing dollars on other sports or in other industries. Yet, this could well prove to be a watershed moment for the brands currently sponsoring F1, as the sports, fashion, and entertainment juggernaut F1 continues to accelerate in popularity globally across multiple cross-industry verticals. Read more on Campaign Asia (English)

China’s Sports Marketing Opportunities, From Blokecore to Skateboarding

From emerging sports to functional fashion, sports-related searches on Douyin are spiking. How can brands get in on the game? Read more on Jing Daily (English)

Temu, Aliexpress Wooing South Korean Consumers

After tackling North America and other regions, Chinese e-commerce firms are edging in on the South Korean market. Chinese giants Temu and Aliexpress have seen a sales increase of over 130% in the South Korean market within the past six months. Read more on Jing Daily (English)

How Luxury Brands Can Get into Pole Position with F1

Boasting extensive cultural prestige and a huge Chinese fanbase, Formula 1 is back in Shanghai after a five-year hiatus, and so is its lucrative collaboration potential for luxury brands. Formula 1’s identity as a motorsport has taken a backseat to its reputation in pop culture. Read more on Jing Daily (English)

Why is Jay Chou Joining Forces with Nike Again?

In Chinese brand collaboration news, Jay Chou’s Phantaci resurrects its 2009 Nike sneaker, Lanvin Lab unveils a touring Erwin Wurm sculpture, and Shuting Qiu launches a second Ugg capsule. Read more on Jing Daily (English)


🎮 Esports

Asian Regional Qualifiers Host Announced

The International Esports Federation (IESF) announced the IESF Asian Esports Championship, set to take place in Chengdu, China, from September 9th to 14th, 2024. This championship will be the final regional qualifier leading to the 16th World Esports Championship Riyadh,  WEC24. Read more on European Gaming (English)

Guangzhou Lures Video Game, Esports Firms with Cash IncentivesThe Southern China city has rolled out plans to support the local video gaming and esports industry with cash rewards of up to $690,950, in the latest sign of authorities adopting a positive tone towards the sector. The Huangpu district in Guangzhou is aiming to build a so-called “10-minute service circle” for local gaming companies, providing support for licence applications, legal advice and talent training among other services. Read more on SCMP (English)


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Steele Nickle
Steele Nickle
May 20

With an expanded women's draw confirmed and some top-tier men's stars set to return, this year's China Open is promising fireworks snow rider 3d

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