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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Collins

China Sports Business Weekly | 10th November

Updated: May 27, 2019

Here are the top sports business stories you need to know from this week:

UFC Partners with AirAsia 

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has announced a partnership with AirAsia, as well as extending its collaboration with Chinese online sports broadcaster PPTV. AirAsia will be the UFC’s first official airline sponsor, gaining signage and branding rights for the Shanghai event in 2018, as well as a number of international events throughout the year. Read more on SportsPro (English)

  1. Mailman Take: The UFC is expanding aggressively in China online and offline. By working with AirAsia, the UFC can reach an even larger target audience. Meanwhile, the UFC has extended its partnership with media partner PPTV to offer an exclusive UFC membership package to Chinese audiences. This will provide users with access to all UFC archived programmes and pay-per-view live broadcasts. All inclusive subscription models are becoming the norm, and we expect to see MMA fans taking up this opportunity.

Timberwolves and O-Range Sports Team Up

The Minnesota Timberwolves and Chinese youth basketball organization O-RANGE SPORTS have announced a new partnership. As part of the agreement, O-Range Sports will send youth players and coaches from China to Minnesota this season for a Timberwolves experience that includes attending a game and participating in training camps. Read more on (English)

  1. Mailman Take: The growing popularity of the Timberwolves is clear to see in China. Just last year, John Jiang became the first Chinese minority owner in professional basketball by investing in the Timberwolves. The team was recently in China participating in the NBA Global Games and has seen significant growth over the past year to their Weibo account, with a current following of almost 2 million, up from 700,000 just six months ago. The Timberwolves also welcomed Chinese-based TCL as a corporate partner last season.

Jordan Brand Signs Chinese eSports Player

Jordan Brand has signed Chinese eSports player Xiye as a new ambassador. Xiye is one of the highest-rated players in Team WE, which is a top team competing in the League of Legends, WarCraft and Heroes Evolved. Read more on SportsMoney (Chinese)

  1. Mailman Take: Where there are people, there will be brands investing money. In the final of the League of Legends Series 7, high-profile sponsors including Mercedes-Benz, Yili, Logitec and Intel were all on show. Now, increasing numbers of brands are realising that eSports is a rapidly growing platform to engage with the younger generation who are willing to spend.

Also this week:

Tencent Acquires 12% Stake in Snap Inc

Tencent Holdings Ltd has taken a 12% stake in Snapchat’s parent company, Snap Inc. Tencent have obtained stakes in several companies over the past few years, including electric car maker Tesla Inc and ride services company Lyft Inc. In 2013, it invested in Snap Inc through an affiliate. Read more on Reuters (English)  

German Football Association Invests in China

The German Football Association (DFB) have announced a partnership with China Investment Corporation (CICFH) to help establish and develop a youth training model in China. The governing body of German football will help the Chinese investment company implement high-level training, talent selection, and talent development. The DFB will also contribute to the establishment of competition systems and the development of football culture. Read more on SportsPro (English)

Chinese Businesses Back Asian Games

Three Chinese companies – Biau Bang, Beautiful Tomorrow, and New Energy – have given financial backing to the 2018 Asian Games through lucrative sponsorship deals. The international event includes athletes from all over Asia and will be held in Palembang and Jakarta from August 18 to September 2. Read more on insidegames (English)

Mailman is a sports digital consultancy and marketing platform and a leader in the China Sports Marketing industry. We help global rights holders, athletes, and leagues to build a successful business in China.

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