China Sports Business Weekly | 15th February
Updated: Aug 27, 2019
Here are the top China sports business news stories you need to know from this week:
Champions League Presence Grows in China UEFA has launched a new UEFA Champions League account on WeChat, building on the recent relaunch of its Weibo account to bring the competition closer to Chinese fans. Read more on UEFA (English) and Sohu (Chinese)
Alibaba’s Joseph Tsai Invests in Lacrosse League The upstart Premier Lacrosse League (PLL), which begins its inaugural season on June 1 and is the brainchild of the sports biggest name Paul Rabil, has been backed by Alibaba Group’s billionaire Co-Founder and Executive Vice Chairman, Joseph Tsai. The league recently closed its Series A funding round that was led by Tsai, who also owns a stake in NBA’s Brooklyn Nets. Read more on Bloomberg (English)
Mailman Take: The investment in lacrosse is not surprising as Joe Tsai himself is a former lacrosse student-athlete at Yale and owner of professional box lacrosse team, San Diego Seals. He has been the major driving force behind the e-commerce magnate's partnership with Pac-12 since 2015. In March 2018, Tsai joined Fanatics owner Michael Rubin and music mogul Sean "Diddy" Combs in an attempt to buy the Carolina Panthers while more recently in January 2019, Tsai headed a group that bought the WNBA's New York Liberty.
European Tour Partners with Sina Sports The European Tour has secured a long-term partnership with Sina Sports for the exclusive China digital broadcast rights to all European Tour events. Sina Sports will live-stream all European Tour tournaments exclusively on its platforms until the end of the 2021 season. The European Tour features two of the top Chinese golfers, Li Haotong and Wu Ashun. Read more on European Tour (English) and Sina (Chinese)
Alisports Brings WESG Grand Final to Chongqing The sports arm of Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group, Alisports, has announced that its top multi-game esports tournament, the 2018-2019 World Electronic Sports Games (WESG) Grand Final, will be held at the Chongqing Olympic Sports Center. In addition, the Alibaba financial service Alipay will be the major partner of the event, and Huya will become the streaming strategic partner. The total prize pool for all games will be over $2.5 million. Read more on Esports Observer (English) and WESG (Chinese)
Li-Ning Serves Up Sponsorship with PV Sindhu Badminton Olympic and World Championship silver medallist PV Sindhu has signed a four-year sponsorship deal worth $7 million with Chinese sports brand Li-Ning. Last month, Li-Ning signed a deal with India’s world number 7 men’s singles player Kidambi Srikanth worth $5 million. Read more on India Today (English) and Sina (Chinese)
In Other News:
Bytedance Wins Spring Festival Hongbao Battle Bytedance increased the total value of red packets offered on three of its apps to RMB 1.6 billion (approximately $237 million) this recent Chinese New Year, up from RMB 1 billion last year, to become the biggest player in the Chinese hongbao battle in terms of prize money offered. The RMB 1.6 billion was distributed between content aggregator Jinri Toutiao, short video app Douyin, and social networking app Duoshan. Read more on Technode (English) and ZOL (Chinese)
Winter Games Venues Popular During CNY The Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games venue in Chongli saw over 174,000 tourists during last week's Chinese Lunar New Year holiday, representing a nine percent year-on-year increase, according to local authorities. The Chongli district of Zhangjiakou in Hebei province, located around 200 kilometres northwest of Beijing, has drawn increasing attention since it was selected to stage the majority of the skiing events during the 2022 Winter Olympics. Read more on Xinhua (English) and Workercn (Chinese)
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