Here are the top China sports business news stories you need to know from this week:
Lakers and Nets Set for NBA China 2019 The National Basketball Association (NBA) announced that the NBA China Games 2019, presented by Vivo, will feature two preseason games between the 16-time NBA Champions Los Angeles Lakers and the Brooklyn Nets. The Lakers and Nets will play Thursday, Oct. 10 in Shanghai, followed by a rematch in Shenzhen on Saturday, Oct. 12. Read more on the NBA English and Chinese
Mailman Take: China will welcome a very popular pair of NBA teams for this year’s annual NBA China Games. The Lakers are an obvious choice based on the global popularity of Lebron James, and the championship history of the Los Angeles Lakers, who are sure to bring a wealth of legendary players along. The Nets Chinese connections, through Alibaba’s Joseph Tsai – a minority owner of the Brooklyn Nets – undoubtedly playing a significant role in bringing his future team to China. Commercially and digitally, both teams should have exciting opportunities to amplify their brand reach while they tour around the country. Furthermore, with the NBA draft and free agency yet to begin, expect more star power to tag along in October.
Experience Manchester United in China
The English Premier League side will expand its presence in China by opening three new Entertainment and Experience Centers in 2020. The announcement was made in partnership with Chinese property investor Harves, and will see the Centers open in Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenyang, which is home to Harves. Each venue will feature interactive and immersive experiences, using state-of-the-art technology to bring the club to life. Fans will be able to experience matchday atmosphere and learn the club’s history. Venues will include restaurants and a club retail store. Read more on CNBC (English) and Tencent (Chinese)
Mailman Take: Manchester United has become the latest team to launch an offline presence in China, following Arsenal’s themed bar and restaurant in Shanghai and Barcelona’s experience center in Haikou last year. The offline presence allows the club to have a year-round connection with its fans, whilst also enabling domestic and global sponsors to activate their partnerships. This also serves as an excellent branded location for club special events.
PP Sports Scores Six Year FA Cup Deal The sports arm of Suning has obtained exclusive media rights to the FA Cup in Mainland China and Macao from 2018 - 2024. Read more on China Daily (Chinese)
Mailman Take: 2019 represents a big year for PP Sports as they are set to become exclusive digital rights holders of the English Premier League from 2019/20 - 2021/22. As well as the FA Cup and English Premier League, PP Sports also broadcasts the Bundesliga, La Liga, Serie A, the Chinese Super League, Asian Football Championship, Champions League, Europa League, and Ligue 1. Being the ‘home of football’ on digital delivers a clear unique selling point for PP Sports, mirrored by digital broadcaster Tencent Sports which is seen as the ‘home of US sports’. Other key digital broadcasters vying for a share of this market are Alibaba’s Youku, iQiyi Sports (a joint venture between DDMC’s Supersports and Baidu’s iQiyi), and China Mobile’s Migu. This season, Youku and Migu will broadcast all football games shows on PP Sports.
In Other News:
China Aiming for Knockout Stages The 2019 AFC Asian Cup is currently taking place in the United Arab Emirates from 5 January to 1 February 2019. It is the 17th edition of the AFC Asian Cup, the quadrennial international men's football championship of Asia organised by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). Read more on the AFC (English)
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