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  • Writer's pictureDenis Green

China Sports Business Weekly | 16th December

Hello Industry Friends, here is the very latest news and insights from China. 📰 Headlines: NBA viewership approaching pre-2019 levels, Yan Bingtao banned for betting, FIS welcomes a new era of China snowsports, Caterpillar and CBA renew five-year deal, Hong Kong billionaire eyes F1 team, Jeremy Lin foundation to award $1.5M to AAPI youth organisations, Vivo, Wanda, and other Chinese brands score big at World Cup, all the latest esports news, and Seven League’s digital trends report.


🗞️ Top Industry News NBA Viewership ‘approaching pre-2019 levels’ on CCTV The NBA’s viewership figures on CCTV, China’s state broadcaster, are reportedly close to returning to the levels hit before the tweet that rocked the league. The NBA was off-air on CCTV for a period of time on the mainland and has only recently returned. Read more on SportBusiness (English) Yan Bingtao Banned for Betting China’s most well-known snooker player is the seventh Chinese player to be suspended from domestic billiards tournaments in recent days after being banned by the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association for alleged match-fixing. Read more on SCMP (English) and NetEase (Chinese) FIS Welcomes Delegation to Plan a New Era of Snowsports in China The FIS President, Secretary General, and Deputy Secretary General welcomed a delegation from the Winter Sports Administrative Center of China, led by Director General Ni Huizhong. Discussions focussed on how to build upon the success of the Beijing Winter Olympics; inspire hundreds of millions more people to experience skiing and snowboarding and create a new era of snow sports in China. Read more on FIS (English)

Caterpillar and CBA Renew Five-Year Sponsorship Deal

During the renewal launch event, Caterpillar released a new brand video "Caterpillar Basketball World", which tells the story of how Caterpillar helps everyone who loves basketball to make all the dreams carried by basketball come true with its do-it-yourself spirit. Read more on Ecosports (Chinese) Hong Kong Billionaire Eyeing F1 Team

Businessman Calvin Lo is assessing forming a new Formula 1 motor racing team for the 2026 season. The chief executive of Hong Kong-headquartered insurance group RE Lee International said launching a new team would be the “ideal” scenario, but added he is also exploring investing in an existing outfit. Read more on SportBusiness (English) Jeremy Lin Foundation to Award $1.5M to AAPI Youth Organisations

The Foundation founded by the former Chinese American NBA star announced that it would launch the Stronger Together Collaborative in collaboration with The Asian American Foundation (TAAF). The joint initiative aims to support community-rooted Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) youth organisations and to help form coalitions with other communities of colour in solidarity. Read more on Radii (English) Netflix’s ‘Baggio’ Film to Play in China, Tap Into World Cup Fever Although China is not competing at the World Cup in Qatar, that has done little to stop Chinese fans - and firms - from getting involved. Now a football-related movie is set to reach China’s screens, just a few days ahead of Sunday’s final. Read more on Yahoo (English) Hot Beer Becomes New Popular Drink in China During World Cup This hot alcoholic drink has gone viral on Chinese social media platforms. On Xiaohongshu for example, the hashtag #hotbeer has had over 419,900 views and is still growing. Netizens in China have been enthusiastic about posting pictures of themselves enjoying a hot beer in pubs and restaurants while watching the World Cup. Read more on DAO (English)


🤔 Opinion Vivo, Wanda, and Other Chinese Brands Score Big at FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Chinese soccer fans may not have a team to root for, but they are just as invested in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 as anyone else. With the games in full swing, running from November 20 to December 18, domestic viewers have expressed their excitement in all sorts of ways: purchasing commemorative soccer balls, dressing in “bloke core,” and even making dumpling art of Qatar’s keffiyeh-inspired mascot. Read more on Jing Daily (English)


How are China’s High-end Shopping Malls Scooping Up Gen Z Football Fans? A race to thrill football fans in China has jumpstarted amongst the country’s high-end shopping centres with domestic enthusiasm for the sport heating up as the FIFA World Cup 2022 unfolds. Dao Insights has assembled campaigns launched by premium commercial complexes in China’s Tier-1 and Tier-2 cities in a bid to draw in footfall from the country’s fast-growing population of football supporters. Read more on DAO (English) 🎮 Esports

China Esports Blast: November For Chinese fans of Blizzard titles, it was a tough end to November. Activision Blizzard ended its 14-year partnership with Chinese game publisher NetEase, meaning that — at present — Chinese players will not be able to play Blizzard games from January 23rd. Meanwhile, former Chinese president Jiang Zemin passed away on November 30 at 96 years old; multiple esports and gaming companies suspended their events to mourn him, including the LPL All-Star. Read more on Esports Insider (English)


🔬 Reports Seven League’s Digital Trends in Sport Our colleagues at Seven League break down the technologies and developments that will shape the sports industry landscape over the next 12 months. Read the report here (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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