China Sports Business Weekly | 15th September
Updated: May 27, 2019
Here are the top sports business news stories you need to know from this week:
Real Madrid Partners with Lai Sun Group
Real Madrid announced a partnership with real estate group Lai Sun that will see the club involved in the development of a new theme park, Novotown, in Hengqin (next to Macau). The centre will interweave elements of sports, entertainment and advanced technology, with a range of virtual and augmented reality football experiences. It will also include a Real Madrid museum and an official club shop. Read more on Real Madrid (English)
NBA China and Mission Hills to Establish NBA Basketball School
Mission Hills Group and NBA China announced a long-term partnership to design, develop and operate an NBA Basketball School as well as an NBA interactive experience and store in Haikou, capital of Hainan Province. The NBA Basketball School in Mission Hills Haikou will be open to male and female players, from junior level to professionals. Construction of the facility will begin later this year and will be completed in 2019. Five-time NBA champion and 18-time NBA All-Star Kobe Bryant joined NBA China and Mission Hills Group to unveil the Chinese basketball academy plans. Read more on Xinhua Net (English)
Mailman Take: This is the continuation of a trend that has seen teams and leagues investing into infrastructure in China. One of the major aims in such deals is to build long-term relationships with local partners for future development.
Dallas Mavericks Search for New Official Chinese Name
Dallas Mavericks, in partnership with Tencent Sports, revealed on social media that they will be changing their official Chinese name. Dallas is called ‘Xiaoniu’ in Chinese, but that translates to “Little Cow” which owner Mark Cuban said, “has nothing to do with the Mavericks.” As a result, the team has launched a new marketing campaign to find a more suitable translation. Read more on Lanxiong (Chinese)
Mailman Take: Localisation is vital for brands expanding into a new market, particularly one as unique as China. As the NBA is still growing rapidly in China, it’s a must for both the league and teams to establish a brand that will resonate with the basketball-crazed market.
NBA China Signs Partnership with Chivas Regal
NBA China has agreed to a sponsorship deal with the Scottish whisky brand. Chivas will launch nation-wide marketing campaigns with NBA throughout the year. During the NBA China games this October, Chivas will also have in-arena branding and interactive pop-ups at the NBA Global China Welcome Reception Parties. Read more on Idealshanghai (English)
Mailman Take: This deal marks one of the biggest partnerships in Chivas’ history as it looks to engage with a new demographic in China. The NBA is now a very well-established brand in China and can offer a huge and influential marketing platform for growing companies.
Super Penguin Basketball Celebrity Game Hosted in Shanghai
Organised by tech giant Tencent, the 2017 Super Penguin Basketball Celebrity Game was held at the Shanghai Oriental Sports Centre on Sunday 10th September. The exhibition game involved some of China’s hottest celebrities including Kris Wu, Jackson Wong, as well as NBA legends Ray Allen and Paul Pierce. The game closely following NBA Celebrity Game structures with plenty of localised content. The total online viewership reached 110 million. Read more on Tencent (Chinese)
Mailman Take: In China, pop stars enjoy vast levels of popularity and have a much wider audience than sports stars. China’s entertainment industry is much more mature than its sports industry and as such, events such as this should continue to look to tap into other industries so as to expand their base of support.
Also this week:
Under Armour Partners with Wanda Sports to Sponsor Rock&Roll Series
Wanda Sports announced a partnership with American sports apparel brand Under Armour. Under Armour will be the official sponsor of the Wanda-owned Rock&Roll Marathon series in 2017 and 2018. Two Rock&Roll races will be hosted in Chengdu and Guangzhou in October and December this year. Read more on Lanxiong (Chinese)
Xtep Signs New Brand Ambassador
China sporting goods brand Xtep announced that the company signed actor and singer Lin Gengxin as their new brand ambassador in China. The brand will launch Lin’s limited edition shoes “π x future star”. Read more on SportsMoney (Chinese)
Huawei to Sponsor Wuhan Tennis Open
Huawei announced their status as the official smartphone sponsor for the 2017 Wuhan Tennis Open. Players and audiences will have opportunities to experience Huawei’s latest products during the tournament in later September. Read more on SportsMoney (Chinese)
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.