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  • Writer's pictureDenis Green

China Sports Business Weekly | 14th July


Hello Industry Friends, here is the very latest news and insights from China. 📰 Headlines: Harbin to host Asian Winter Games, Prada partners with the Steel Roses, Kyrie Irving signs with Anta, China staying grounded ahead of World Cup, Yin wants five majors, and VALORANT launches in China.

 

🗞️ Top Industry News Harbin To Host Asian Winter Games The northeastern city will host the 9th edition of the Asian Winter Games in 2025. Harbin, the capital of Heilongjiang Province, was unanimously approved as the host city by the Olympic Council of Asia General Assembly at a meeting in Bangkok. Harbin hosted the 3rd Asian Winter Games back in 1996. Read more on Forbes (English) and Global Times (Chinese) 💡 Mailman Take: The Beijing Winter Olympics inspired hundreds of millions to get involved in ice and snow sports in China, a target the Government was intent on hitting. But now the snow has settled on those Games, the country now has another tentpole winter event to look forward to. Beijing 2022 created local superstars in Su Yiming and the already famous Eileen Gu, and those stars will undoubtedly be looking at winning more medals on home snow in 2025. Prada Becomes the Official Partner of China’s Women’s National Football Team The Italian luxury house will provide outfits for the 23 players and representatives during their travel and formal event appearances. The announcement comes as the team heads down to Australia to play in the FIFA Women’s World Cup, which begins on July 20. Read more on Jing Daily (English) and Sina (Chinese) 💡 Mailman Take: The long wait is almost over as the world turns to Australia and New Zealand. China’s Women’s team - the Steel Roses - is widely respected and comes with high expectations, so it was natural for a global luxury brand to partner with them. If China can get through a tricky group and push on in the knockout stages, Prada’s shrewd move will prove very worthy in China, one of their key international markets, as social media will be abuzz with Steel Roses content.


 

Kyrie Irving Signs with Anta The Chinese sports brand announced a new partnership with the basketball star just seven months after Nike severed its relationship. Anta said Irving would serve as its chief creative officer and help recruit other players, brands and “influential figures in pop culture” to collaborate with him on additional product lines. Anta is launching youth basketball training camps in China with Irving and expects his on-court signature shoes and lifestyle footwear to be available early next year. Read more on Sportico (English) and Sohu (Chinese) 💡 Mailman Take: The Chinese brand is showing great faith in the Kyrie Irving brand and subsequent product lines. Given the success his products had at Nike in years past, Irving can become the driving force in attracting new talent to join Anta’s portfolio, along with other stars Klay Thompson and Gordon Hayward, among others. This move indicates that Anta eyes a more aggressive approach to bolstering its athlete and celebrity portfolio. China Staying Grounded Ahead of World Cup The Steel Roses were runners-up at the third Women's World Cup in 1999, but their stock has fallen in recent years and coach Shui Qingxia believes getting out of a group that also features European champions England, Denmark, and debutants Haiti would be a success. Read more on Reuters (English) and CCTV.com (Chinese) Ambitious Yin Targets 'At Least Five' Majors Yin Ruoning's life changed on June 25 when she emerged from the pack to win the KPMG Women's PGA Championship, the 20-year-old's first major title. Yin joined her idol Feng Shanshan as the only woman from the Chinese mainland to win a major. Read more on China Daily (English) and The Paper (Chinese) Tightening Her Grip on Greatness Zhang Weili looks to cement her legacy as China's UFC champ steps back into the Octagon for latest title defence next month. Back on top again in one of the most competitive women's divisions, the superstar is opening a new chapter of her storied career, with renewed focus on extending her supremacy and helping to accelerate MMA's move into China's sports mainstream. Read more on China Daily (English) and Shanghai Observer (Chinese) More Than A Game: Reporter's Take on China's Rural Sport Craze Over the past month, CGTN has travelled across China, capturing exciting moments and finding out the reason behind the recent village sport sensation going viral offline and online. Read more on CGTN (English)

 

🎮 Esports VALORANT Officially Launches in China The game comes online three years after it launched globally, and marks another significant expansion in the esport title’s already global reach. VALORANT will be distributed by Tencent Games - the parent company of developer Riot Games, which also makes League of Legends. The game received approval in late December 2022 from the Chinese government’s National Press and Publication Administration, which grants licenses for foreign games to be distributed in the country. Read more on Esports Insider (English) and Sina (Chinese) China Esports Blast: June 2023 Among the top business stories in June: VALORANT received an official China launch date; British shoe brand Clarks signed a sponsorship deal with China LPL team LNG; and Wolves Esports announced its Naraka Bladepoint and Identity V divisions had taken place in Chengdu, China. Read more on Esports Insider (English)

 

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