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  • Writer's pictureDenis Green

Asia Sports Business Weekly | 31st May

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


📰 Key Headlines: Hisense lands UEFA Euro 2024 VAR sponsorship, Conmebol renews with TCL, Liverpool opens Indonesia merchandise store, AliExpress signs David Beckham as brand ambassador, F1 eyes more Asia races, Formula E teams satisfied with Shanghai debut.

 

🗞️ Key Industry News


UEFA Opens Up VAR Screen Sponsorship to Hisense

The Chinese appliances and electronics manufacturer has been named as the official screen sponsor for video-assisted referees (VAR) at this summer’s European Championship in Germany, marking the first time it has commercialised this inventory. It is also the first time UEFA has authorised exclusive rights to one of its existing sponsors. Read more on SportBusiness


💡 Our Take: The attention surrounding VAR means Hisense will be getting plenty of brand exposure throughout the tournament and across social media platforms. The Chinese company has a strong global footprint and is a successful case study of a Chinese company going outbound, particularly in Europe, making this Euro-related sponsorship a smart tactical move for the brand. 

 

​​Conmebol Agrees to TCL Copa América Renewal

The consumer electronics brand has extended its sponsorship agreement with Conmebol and will once again be a sponsor of this year’s Copa América tournament, becoming the latest Chinese brand to announce a deal with the South American football confederation. Read more on SportBusinessLiverpool to Open Official Merchandise Store in IndonesiaThe English Premier League club has signed a new retail partnership in Indonesia to continue its expanding international footprint in Asia. The club will be working with PT Kanmo Weston Retailindo, a joint venture between existing Singapore retail partner Weston Corporation and Indonesian retail business Kanmo Group. Read more at Liverpool's Official Website (English)


💡 Our Take: This is a breath of fresh air for not only Liverpool fans, but also football fans in Indonesia. The fact that big European clubs are starting to trust Indonesian retail companies to sell their products could be a benchmark. Liverpool becomes the first European club to open its official store in Indonesia, and if successful, other big European football clubs will likely follow suit.


AliExpress Signs David Beckham as International Ecommerce Brand Ambassador

The football legend will promote Alibaba’s international ecommerce platform, AliExpress. The deal comes against the backdrop of China-based rivals PDD Holdings’ Temu and online fashion startup Shein’s rapid global expansion, with the former also advertising at the Super Bowl to gain traction with U.S. customers. AliExpress joins several Chinese companies in sponsoring the UEFA European soccer championship that kicks off in mid-June. Read more on CNBC


💡 Our Take: There’s continued interest from Chinese companies in UEFA Euro 2024 as the tournament approaches, highlighted by the growing list of Chinese sponsors. Alibaba-affiliate Alipay, electric car company BYD, home appliance brand Hisense, and smartphone company Vivo are all official sponsors, alongside AliExpress. Bringing on David Beckham as a brand ambassador is a smart move by AliExpress, as Beckham is hugely popular in China, regularly visits the country, and has 13.6m followers across popular social platforms Weibo and Douyin. 


F1 Says Thailand, South Korea and Indonesia Eyeing Races

Greg Maffei, CEO of Liberty Media company that owns Formula 1, says a race in Southeast Asia is increasingly likely – with Thailand, South Korea and Indonesia interested. Speaking at an F1 in Depth event in Monaco, which was co-hosted by Autosport Business, Maffei said that the successful return of the Chinese Grand Prix showed what was possible. Read more on Autosport


💡 Our Take: There’s continued interest from Chinese companies in UEFA Euro 2024 as the tournament approaches, highlighted by the growing list of Chinese sponsors. Alibaba-affiliate Alipay, electric car company BYD, home appliance brand Hisense, and smartphone company Vivo are all official sponsors, alongside AliExpress. Bringing on David Beckham as a brand ambassador is a smart move by AliExpress, as Beckham is hugely popular in China, regularly visits the country, and has 13.6m followers across popular social platforms Weibo and Douyin. 


FE Teams Thrilled with Debut in Shanghai

Antonio Felix da Costa's victory at the Shanghai E-Prix marked a significant moment for the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship as nearly 40,000 spectators witnessed the tournament's return to China over the weekend after a five-year hiatus. Read more on China Daily


Hong Kong Cricket Bosses Grow Mainland China Links

Hong Kong cricket officials have said a burgeoning partnership with their counterparts in mainland China could lead to its inclusion in the National Games, but would “absolutely not” threaten the city’s sporting autonomy. Cricket Hong Kong, China (CHKC) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Shandong Small Ball Sports Federation, in addition to fostering relationships with cricket associations in Shanghai, Beijing and several provinces. Read more on SCMP


eHi Becomes the Official Car Rental Services Partner of NBA China

NBA China and Shanghai eHi Car Rental have announced a multiyear marketing partnership that makes eHi the Official Car Rental Services Partner of NBA China. The partnership applies to the Chinese mainland, and through the collaboration, eHi will strengthen its connection with customers through NBA-branded events and initiatives. Read more PR Newswire


MotoGP to Stay in India After State Government Steps In

The MotoGP race in India, a long-term vision for series organiser and commercial rights-holder Dorna Sports, looks to have been saved after the Uttar Pradesh state government stepped in. The intervention means that MotoGP avoids the fate of its four-wheeled peers Formula 1 and Formula E, which have both had to stop racing in the country due to financial and bureaucratic issues. Read more on SportBusiness


VF Corp Eyes China as its 'Biggest' Market

The US-based apparel, footwear, and accessories company will develop China into its biggest market, its top executive said, spurred by the country's strong economic growth, rising middle-income group, and higher demand for an active and healthy lifestyle from consumers. Read more on China Daily 


FIBA Delegation Meets General Administration of Sport of CBA

A FIBA delegation has concluded a visit to China to discuss a range of topics with the General Administration of Sport of China and the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA). These meetings will pave the way for the strengthening of existing relationships and securing closer collaborations in the future, something which will assist in the continued development of basketball in China and in taking it to new heights. Read more on FIBA

 

🤔 Opinion


CEO Stefano Domenicali on F1’s China Triumph

Stefano Domenicali, President and CEO of Formula 1, talks with Jing Daily about reigniting enthusiasm among Chinese fans after a 5-year hiatus and tapping the market’s vast potential. Read more on Jing Daily

 

🎮 Esports


Esportz.in Announces the 2024 Esportz Premier Series


The India-based esports and gaming media platform announced the first details on the fourth edition of its year-long competition series, the Esportz Premier Series. This year’s competition will once again feature multiple competitions in Counter-Strike 2 (PC), Free Fire MAX (mobile), EA Sports FC 24 (console), and Assetto Corsa Competizione (sim-racing), and will offer a total prize pool of around $30k. Read more on Esports Advocate

 

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