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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Collins

China’s Biggest Year Yet – Mailman at Sports Matters

Updated: May 30, 2019

Sports Matters reached its fourth year in Singapore and China again was stole the headlines.

We brought a full team to the event at the Marina Bay Sands, with David Hornby again opening the China Matters section with a 2016 update, and Andrew Collins moderating a panel with Bin Li and Kevin Chang from Kaixin Capital and UFC respectively.

Before their time on stage, Tom Glick, Chief Commercial Officer at City Football Group, led a keynote speech on their success and growing this group model. China was definitely at the forefront of their plans after a successful tour this summer with Manchester City in this region. The next keynote speaker was David Shoemaker, CEO of NBA China, and updated the audience from Brandon Snow’s presentation last year. The NBA are in a very strong position in China, and have benefitted after their patient approach to the market starting over 20 years ago.

Our very own David Hornby then led the China Matters section with a presentation on China’s Biggest Year Yet. He covered how the digital landscape has developed over the last 12 months, with huge growth for Weibo and WeChat, as well as 1 billion Weibo reads for #KB20#. Live streaming has been the breakthrough platform this year, with multiple platforms competing to be number one. He revealed that fans have started to pay for content, a major change from last year with 16x more people paying for the first Premier League match of the season. Investment both inbound and outbound has made global headlines, with over $2 billion spent from Chinese organisations on European football clubs in 2015-16 alone. The Chinese Super League has become a major league now, competing for the top players as it smashed its transfer record 4 times this year. National pride was huge in the Olympic year, but it was most impressive when 110 million people tuned in to watch the World Cup Qualifier between China and Iran.

After Ma Guoli from LeTV presented, Andrew, Bin and Kevin took part in the panel on the future of China digital content and what we can expect to see. The trio introduced new market strategies and discussed investment and commercial opportunities.

One of the biggest news to come out of the event was the announcement of LeSports Connects. Branded CEO, Jasper Donat, announced the event in Shenzhen in late November on the first morning, and Mailman are excited to again be part of the first of its kind in China.

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