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  • Writer's pictureDenis Green

China Sports Business Weekly | 10th January

Welcome to the latest edition of the China Sports Business Weekly. 

This week, Manchester City announced a global partnership with China’s largest consumer appliances producer Midea, Shanghai was chosen as the host city for the opening ceremony & the final of the 2021 FIFA Club World Cup, Nike extended Chinese Athletics Association deal, IMG signed golfer Li Haotong, Wu Lei named Helian ambassador, and Douyin hit a huge 400 million DAUs. 

Top Industry News:

1) Manchester City Announces Midea as Global Partner The club’s partnership with a juggernaut of the consumer appliance world will see Midea present around the Etihad Stadium on key match days through integrated branding and activations. Midea also plans to develop an innovative digital campaign for the remainder of the 2019/20 season. Read more on Man City (English) and Man City (Chinese) 

Mailman Take: This is the club’s most high profile partnership yet with a Chinese brand. Along with YuYuan (Art & Culture), UBTECH (Robotics), JNC (Baijiu), Merchants Bank (Credit Card), PAK (Lighting), Tecno Mobile (Mobile), Midea is the latest local company to partner with the current Premier League champions. Will co-branded products in consumers' homes help grow the club's following in China?

2) Host City Decided for Opening Ceremony and Final of 2021 Club World Cup

Shanghai will host the opening ceremony and final of the expanded 2021 Club World Cup in China, according to state media. Eight Chinese cities will stage matches for the FIFA-organised tournament, involving 24 teams rather than the current seven. Read more on (English) and Dongqiudi (Chinese)

Mailman Take: A big win for Shanghai and its local authorities. Beijing typically claims most major sporting ceremonies and finals, yet Shanghai appears to have come out on top for FIFA’s first-ever official club tournament in China. Let’s hope for full stadiums. 

3) Nike Extends Deal with Chinese Athletics Association The long-term extension of this partnership will run to 2033, and continues Nike’s commitment to supply training equipment for Chinese national team athletes. The initiatives include training camps, overseas training bases for Chinese athletes, and facilitating cooperation between the CAA and other athletics associations around the world. Read more on SportBusiness (English) and CAA (Chinese)

Source: Xinhua
Source: Xinhua

4) Villarreal Announces MoU with Tianjin Teda The La Liga football club announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Chinese Super League football club Tianjin Teda. The MoU is focussed on youth development and will see the Spanish outfit provide the Tianjin Teda youth team with five coaches, including a goalkeeper coach and a fitness coach. Read more on Insider Sport (English) and Dongqiudi (Chinese)

5) Li Haotong Signs with IMG China’s highest-ranked male golfer signed with global sports agency IMG in a deal he hopes can extend his brand's reach "beyond golf". Li is currently at 69th in the global rankings. Read more on China Daily (English) and China Daily (Chinese) 

Mailman Take: Currently one of China’s most famous sportsmen, Li, just 24 years old, remains a marketer's dream. As the world’s best-known agency, IMG fits the bill for Li to continue to grow his brand, both locally and globally.

6) Nanjing 2020 Reveals Ticketing Programme and Mascot Organisers of the World Athletics Indoor Championships Nanjing 2020 announced Wenkor Ticketing as the general ticketing agent for the event, which will be held from 13-15 March at Nanjing’s Cube Indoor Athletics Facility. Around 18,000 tickets will be made available over the six competition sessions. Read more on World Athletics (English) and Sina (Chinese) 

7) Wu Lei Named Helian Home Ambassador The Chinese football player signed a deal to become an ambassador for the fashion brand. The agreement was confirmed by Heilan Home on its Weibo page and will see the Espanyol striker in marketing materials for the Chinese brand, as well as leverage Wu’s social media channels. Read more on SportsPro (English) and ifeng (Chinese)  

8) Beijing 2022 Main Structures Ready Structures of the 12,000-seat National Speed Skating Oval and an extension of the National Indoor Stadium have been completed. The Oval is expected to be completed by June, in time for test events, and will be the largest speed skating arena in Asia once complete. Read more on SportBusiness (English) and Sina (Chinese)

9) Gemdale Takes on Winter Sports

The Gemdale Sports agency branched out into a new sport, being named as the exclusive commercial partner of the 2021 Freestyle Ski & Snowboard World Championships in Zhangjiakou. As the exclusive global agent, Gemdale Sports undertake branding promotion and business development for the event. The 2021 Freestyle Ski & Snowboard World Championships will serve as an official test event for the Beijing 2022 winter Olympic Games. Read more on SportBusiness (English) and China Sports Daily (Chinese)

10) NFL China Announces Ayanga as Promotional Ambassador The famous singer and actor will appear on promotional resources and marketing campaigns ahead of Super Bowl LIV, which he’ll attend in an official capacity. Read more on Ecosports (Chinese)

Source: NFL

In Other News

11) Douyin Surpasses 400 Million DAUs

The short-form video platform, known internationally as Tik Tok, has amassed 400 million Daily Active Users (DAUs), parent company ByteDance revealed in its annual report (Chinese). This marks impressive growth for the app, which had 250 million daily active users in January last year. Read more on Tech Crunch (English) and Tencent (Chinese)

12) Driverless Bullet Train in Service Ahead of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, the new 108-mile high-speed railway line connecting Beijing with Olympic host city Zhangjiakou has entered service. Travel time between the two has shortened from three hours to 47 minutes. This train can run up to 350 kilometers per hour (217 mph) without a driver - said to be a world first. It's also been dubbed the world's first smart high-speed railway. Read more on CNN (English) and Huanqiu (Chinese)

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Mailman is a global sports digital agency and consultancy. We help global rights holders, athletes and brands build a successful business across China, Europe, and Southeast Asia. Learn more about our story here

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