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  • Writer's pictureDenis Green

China Sports Business Weekly | 11th November

Hello Industry Friends, here is the very latest news and insights from China. 📰 Headlines: AFC wants Super Sports Media deal termination, Rugby Sevens goes ahead in Hong Kong, CBA signs with Aramco, marathon returns to Beijing, Louis Vuitton signs Su Yiming, World Athletics cancels Guangzhou event.


🗞️ Top Industry News AFC Requests Termination of Super Sports Media Rights Deal The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) intends to terminate its deal for the 2021-24 cycle due to unpaid fees. Super Sports Media has been unable to pay the AFC rights fee “due to the high debt ratio of the company in recent years, the shortage of operating cash flow, and the delayed collection of related receivables”. Read more on SportBusiness (English) and Tencent (Chinese)

💡Mailman Take: A familiar story and another blow for Super Sports Media and DDMC Sports. As the media rights market continues to drop in China, keep an eye out for the short video platforms landing premium rights and growing their live sports content offerings. Rugby Sevens Success in Hong Kong Hong Kong is expected to increase funding for the staging of major sport events in the city as officials hailed a successful return of its World Rugby Sevens Series. That said, optimism remains guarded about the return of major international events due to the remaining pandemic control measures. Read more on SportBusiness (English) and Chinanews (Chinese) 💡Mailman Take: An important, much-needed moment for Hong Kong and its return to live sport. Following the removal of hotel quarantine and recent financial summits, it appears Hong Kong is well on its way to a revival. CBA Signs Aramco as Sponsor The Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) has signed with the Saudi Arabian energy company in a two-year sponsorship deal. Aramco has joined as an ‘Official Partner’ of the CBA, the third tier of sponsorship with the rights-holder, for the 2022 and 2023 seasons, sitting alongside five other sponsors at the same level. Read more on SportBusiness (English) and Sohu (Chinese) Yili Backs Chinese Volleyball Super League The Chinese dairy group has been unveiled as a sponsor of the Chinese Volleyball Super League (CVL). The deal was announced prior to the beginning of the first stage of the 2022-23 CVL Women's season in Changzhou, which will see Yili supply players and officials with dairy products throughout the season. Read more on SportBusiness (English) Beijing Marathon Returns After Three-year Hiatus Over the past three years, many marathons in China have experienced delays and suspensions. Now, as China's oldest marathon, the 40-year-old Beijing marathon is running again, an important step not only in this year's marathon season but also in the revival of China's road running industry. Read more on CGTN (English) and The Paper (Chinese) 💡 Mailman Take: Despite taking place in polluted conditions, it was encouraging to see the Beijing Marathon back at it. Mass participation sports are a key driver for China’s health and fitness goals, which were again highlighted in the recent 20th National Congress meeting. Yiming Su Becomes Louis Vuitton Ambassador The luxury fashion brand announced that the Chinese Olympic snowboarding champion has become its brand ambassador. Read more on Tencent (Chinese) Liu Brothers Move Closer to China Switch Hungary's short-track speed skating stars Sandor Liu Shaolin and Liu Shaoang could be representing China in the future after the Olympic champions lodged applications to change their nationality. The Hungarian National Skating Association (MOKSZ) posted a statement on its website confirming that the Liu brothers had officially filed the applications. Read more on China Daily (English) and Tencent (Chinese) New Chinese Sports Stadium Looks Like an Alien Landscape With 30,000 seats, a running track, and a central football field, the new stadium in the eastern Chinese city of Quzhou, is very clearly a place for sports. But for MAD Architects, the Beijing-based firm that designed the stadium to blend into the surrounding landscape like a crater on the moon, the project is actually a massive piece of land art. Read more on Fast Company (English)) and Sina (Chinese) Guangzhou 2023 Athletics Event Postponed World Athletics has announced that its 2023 World Athletics Relays in Guangzhou will be postponed to 2025, the third major event it has had to reschedule this year due to the Covid-19 situation in China. Guangzhou 2023 had been scheduled for May 13-14 next year, but will now take place in April/May 2025. Read more on SportBusiness (English) and Xinhua (Chinese)


🤔 Opinion Why is Nike and China’s esports icon Uzi’s partnership shrewd esports marketing? Nike signed Chinese esports star player Jian Zihao, who also goes by the name Uzi, marking the brand’s first collaboration with an esports athlete. The move came after the 25-year-old’s comeback following his retirement announcement in 2020 due to health issues. Read more on DAO (English)


Mailman is China’s leading sports digital agency. We exist at the intersection of digital & sports. We help top sports organisations & brands to build sustainable businesses in China, one of the world's most challenging markets. Mailman is part of the Endeavor network. Learn more about our story here.

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