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  • Writer's pictureDenis Green

Asia Sports Business Weekly | 8th March

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

📰Key Headlines: Sports a key focus at Two Sessions, Hong Kong delegate wants FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2031, UFC signs 19 Crimes as domestic wine partner, World Athletics and Morianga announce sponsorship, Pertamina Enduro becomes main sponsor of VR46 MotoGP team, and a look at how Chinese esports differs from the West. 


🗞️ Key Industry News

Sports Discussed as a Force in Rural Revitalization at Two Sessions

In 2023, a series of rural sports tournaments, including the Village Basketball, Village Football, and Village Volleyball Tournament, became popular in China and advanced rural revitalisation. These contributions were a hot topic of discussion during the ongoing annual sessions of China's top legislature and political advisory body. Read more on Xinhua (English) and Xinhua (Chinese)

💡 Our Take: Village sport was arguably the hottest topic within the sports industry in China in 2023 as more iterations came to fruition to unite communities and help grow local tourism. The biggest challenge now is how these rural sports tournaments grow across the country, if they will look to leverage commercial opportunities, and create more of a structural league akin to the CSL.  


Hong Kong Should Bid to Co-host the 2031 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Fok Says

The city delegate told NPC there were enough facilities in Kai Tak Sports Park and Guangzhou Nansha Urban Sports Complex to meet the needs of the competition. Fok also suggested a Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Sports Bay Area should be established, akin to the likes of New York, San Francisco and Tokyo. Read more on SCMP (English) and The Paper (Chinese) 

💡 Our Take: The Greater Bay Area is positioning itself as the go-to destination for sporting events looking to return to Greater China. The interconnectability between key cities across the region mixed with newly developed high tech facilities will no doubt be on the radar when global sports organisations and music artists are planning their Asia stops.

UFC Signs 19 Crimes As Domestic Wine Partner

The world’s leading MMA organisation signed Australian vintner Treasury Wine Estates’ 19 Crimes brand as the organisation’s first domestic wine sponsor. The two-year deal expands an Asian UFC rights signed last year. Read more on Sports Business Journal (English)

World Athletics and Morinaga Announce Sponsorship Agreement

World Athletics and Morinaga announced a new two-year agreement for the Japanese food manufacturing company to become a global supporter of World Athletics and its World Athletics Series events. The agreement, which spans from 2024 to 2025, will cover the World Athletics Championships Tokyo 25. Read more on World Athletics (English)

💡 Our Take: Morinaga is one of the main snack production company in Japan and is developing sports nutrition products with the World Athletics. This is a key partnership ahead of the World Athletics Championships that will take place in Tokyo next year, clearly marking the greater commitment of companies in the market for sports on a global level.

Pertamina Enduro Becomes Main Sponsor of VR46 MotoGP Team This is the first time an Indonesian company has become the main sponsor of a MotoGP team, the most prestigious motorbike racing competition in the world. This collaboration will take place from the 2024 to 2026 season, with a contract value estimated at $16.4m per year. Read more on CNN (Bahasa)

💡 Our Take: As one of Pertamina's products and the biggest state-owned oil company in Indonesia, Pertamina Enduro made a historic breakthrough that really raised the level of the Indonesian market in the world of racing sports, after the Mandalika circuit and Gresini's collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism. Apart from product expansion, this collaboration will open the opportunity for young Indonesian racers to dream of competing in MotoGP. With the direct involvement of the VR46 team, it will further strengthen Indonesia's value in racing sports.

China Has its First Olympic Surfer, Yang Siqi

China’s Yang Siqi spoke of her surprise after earning the right to become her country’s first Olympic surfer – not to mention being, at just 14 years old, the youngest person to qualify in her sport for the Paris Games. Read more on SCMP (English) and Xinhua  (Chinese)

Times Group in JV with Pickleball Asia to Start 'World Series'

The Pickleball World Series that will commence in the United States and travel across different continents with six major events in a year. Pickleball - which has become popular in a very short period of time - is a fusion of tennis, table tennis and badminton. Read more on Times of India (English)


🎮 Esports

VSPO: How Chinese Esports Differs From the West

China has long been in a leading position when it comes to the esports industry, home to many top esports players and a massive fanbase that supports them. However, China’s esports market operates substantially differently from Western markets. What is China’s esports ecosystem like, and how has it been affected by industry troubles that have plagued the West? Read more on Esports Insider (English)


🤔 Opinion

How Alpine Après-ski Culture is Wooing Chinese Skiers

As China’s love for ski and snow sports grows, could après-ski culture provide an opportunity for brands? Read more on Jing Daily (English)

2024 is the Year AI Becomes Mainstream in China Marketing

Marketers have been flirting with AI for some years now, but it wasn't until last year when it became a part of most marketing conversations in China. This year is looking to be the year when most brands have incorporated some form of it into their marketing plans. Read more on China Skinny (English)

Anta’s Masterstrokes: Acquiring Amer Sports, Dodging Controversy: Part 1

Since its acquisition by Anta, Amer Sports has seen its portfolio brands go from strength to strength in the Greater China region, with Arc’teryx and Salomon leading the way. Read more on Jing Daily (English)


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