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  • Writer's pictureDenis Green

China Sports Business Weekly | 17th November

Hello Industry Friends, here is the very latest news and insights from China. 📰 Headlines: CMG signs partnerships with NHL and USTA, Chinese and Singapore companies launch investment firm, EASL heads to Macau, Jiangsu to build 50 sports parks, Nike announces new Shanghai research lab, new sports trending amongst China’s youth, $78bn in deals closed at 6th China International Import Expo, why luxury brands are pivoting towards athletes, and all the latest from China’s esports world.

🗞️ Top Industry News China Media Group Signs MOUs with NHL and USTA China Media Group (CMG) announced a comprehensive cooperation agreement with the National Hockey League (NHL) and the U.S. Tennis Association (USTA). The agreements cover media rights, technology innovation, and sports exchanges. CMG President Shen Haixiong signed Memorandums of Understanding with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and USTA CEO Lew Sherr. Read more on PRWeb (English) and Sohu (Chinese) 💡 Mailman Take: In parallel with Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to the US, CMG has been signing a raft of partnerships with global sports organisations, including the IOC, Ligue 1, and now the NHL and USTA. This shows signs of easing of sports geopolitics, which have been troubled at times between the two global superpowers. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see even more of these deals made in the coming weeks, meaning more Western sports action will be returning to CCTV’s screens. Chinese Sports Body and Singapore Development Firm Launch Sports IP Push The China National Sports Group (CNSG) announced an agreement with Singapore-based investment firm White Group to “acquire the intellectual property of leading international sports events” and invest in infrastructure across the Asia-Pacific region. Read more on SportBusiness (English) and Sohu (Chinese)


Melco Deal Sees EASL Head to Macau The East Asia Super League (EASL) has agreed on a sponsorship deal with Melco Resorts & Entertainment through which the company’s integrated resort in Macau, Studio City, will host a game during the 2023-24 season. The event is fully supported by the Sports Bureau of Macao SAR Government to provide more diversified sports and leisure experiences for tourists visiting Macau. Read more on SportBusiness (English) and Tencent (Chinese) 💡 Mailman Take: After a COVID-delayed start, the EASL is finally up and running, and making a splash. The introduction of Jeremy Lin to the league mixed with the multi-country format and growth of basketball across the continent means the league has a very real chance to become a top three global basketball league in the coming years. China's Jiangsu to Build at Least 50 Sports Parks in 2024 Next year, Jiangsu Province in East China aims to construct a 500-kilometer fitness trail, establish a minimum of 50 sports parks, and facilitate access to at least 100 public sports venues with affordable or no entry fees. This initiative is part of Jiangsu's efforts to enhance public fitness services in the city of Zhangjiagang. Read more on Xinhua (English) and Shanghai Observer (Chinese) Nike Announces New Research Lab to Open in Shanghai Sportswear producer Nike vows to further accelerate its investment and innovation in China by opening a Nike Sport Research Lab next year in Shanghai to drive new product solutions unique for local athletes and consumers. Read more on China Daily (English) and Wenhui Daily (Chinese) Inaugural International Basketball Expo Opens in East China The first edition of the International Basketball Expo aims to showcase the history and achievements of Chinese basketball, promote basketball culture, and create cooperation opportunities within the basketball industry, according to the organizers. Read more on Xinhua (English) and Tencent (Chinese) New Sports Trending Among Chinese Youth Dynamic and fashionable emerging sports such as climbing, skateboarding, and break dancing are captivating more and more youngsters in China. Read more on Xinhua (English) and Sohu (Chinese) $78bn in Deals Closed at 6th China International Import Expo A record $78.41bn worth of tentative deals were reached at the recent 6th China International Import Expo. This figure is up 6.7% from last year’s session, reflecting Chinese buyers’ keen interest in imported goods, services and technology despite major economic headwinds this year. Read more on DAO (English) and CNR News (Chinese) Tiffany & Co. Takes on Trophy Design for Shanghai Marathon The brand announced its partnership with the Shanghai Marathon to craft exclusive trophies and medals for the top finishers. The marathon is set to take place on November 26, where the jeweller will award the first three male and female athletes with uniquely designed accolades. Read more on DAO (English) and Xinmin Evening News (Chinese) Skate Expectations The Chinese speed skating team is picking up the pace again as it expands its medal ambitions to more disciplines at the next Winter Olympics. Read more on China Daily (English) and Guangming Net (Chinese) Adidas and Bugatti Drop Super Rare Football Boot with Digital Twin As high-low crossovers become commonplace in the collaboration playbook, creating something that feels distinctly new is no simple task. The sportswear label’s latest partnership with Bugatti merges Web3, football, and automobile-inspired designs in a first-of-its-kind venture. Read more on Jing Daily (English) and Tencent (Chinese)

🤔 Opinion 5 Lessons From China’s Digital Innovation and Transformation for Global Brands Here are five key lessons global brands and businesses can take away from China’s transformation. Read more on DAO (English) China’s Hyper-Online Elderly to Spend $750bn by 2035. How Can Brands Tap In? China is home to more than 280m individuals aged 60 and above - 20 percent of its population. By 2035, spending by those aged 60 to 74 is expected to surge to $750bn per year, a jump of more than 50 percent from 2020. While many businesses focus on Gen Z and millennials, luxury brands need to also capitalise on the expanding silver economy. Read more on Jing Daily (English) Safety, Esports, and AI-powered Searches: What the Chinese Traveller Wants in 2023 During this year’s Golden Week holiday, which ran from October 1 to 7, the volume of outbound travel from China surged by over 800 percent compared to the same period in 2022, according to Group. Read more on Jing Daily (English) Why Luxury Brands Are Pivoting to Athletes While many celebrity singers, actors and influencers remain hugely popular, athletes provide a different fanbase that fashion brands hope to convert. Read more on Business of Fashion (English) and Netease (Chinese)

🎮 Esports Chinese Tech Founder Taken Away by Authorities The founder of Tencent-backed game-streaming site DouYu has been taken away by Chinese authorities, becoming the latest tech entrepreneur to run into trouble in the country. Read more on FT (English) and The Paper (Chinese) China Esports Blast: October 2023 October 2023 was unforgettable in the history of Chinese League of Legends and Dota 2 esports. Three LPL teams - Weibo Gaming, Bilibili Gaming, and Jing Dong Gaming - entered the semifinals of the League of Legends World Championship 2023 (Worlds 2023). Read more on Esports Insider (English)


Founded in China in 1999, Mailman has evolved to become Asia’s leading sports digital agency. We are digital marketers who help sports rights holders enhance their local brand equity and create sustainable presences. We exist at the intersection of digital & technology, helping the world’s biggest sports, entertainment & lifestyle brands build successful businesses in international growth markets. Mailman is part of 160over90, an Endeavor company. Learn more about our story here.

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