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  • Writer's pictureDenis Green

China Sports Business Weekly | 18th February

Hello Industry Friends, here are the very latest news and insights from China.

📰 Headlines: Mailman launches Red Card 2022, Roewe sponsors China’s women’s national team, Su Yiming and Eileen Gu continue to star, JD releases winter sports report, a bright winter cross-country future, the Olympics’ trending mascot.


🗞️ Top Industry News Mailman Launches Red Card 2022: China Digital Performance Index In its 11th year of publication, the report analyses another year in which teams and players were unable to visit China due to closed borders and tight COVID-19 protocols, meaning digital was once again the key medium in which to reach, engage, and monetise fans in China. The Premier League, FC Barcelona, and Cristiano Ronaldo were the big winners. Read more on SportBusiness (English)

Roewe Sponsors China’s Women’s National Team The Chinese car brand has agreed to a deal with the Chinese Football Association (CFA) to sponsor the China women’s national football team. The reported three-year deal will see Roewe provide “long-term support for the development of China’s sports industry”. Read more on SportBusiness (English) and Ecosports (Chinese) 💡 Mailman Take: Ahead of the Women’s FIFA World Cup next year in Australia, in which China is the only nation to have qualified so far alongside the hosts, Chinese brands are keen to associate themselves with the newly-crowned AFC Asian Cup winners. National pride is currently high following a positive Beijing Olympics for China, and plenty of attention will be on the women’s football team to continue this momentum in 2023, especially as the men’s team is not offering much hope as of late.

Su Yiming & Eileen Gu - China’s Next Generation The Olympics gold medalists represent the face of China’s new generation of athletes. The duo, who have been friends since childhood, have been topping social media trending charts and dominating local media headlines throughout the Games. Read more on Washington Post (English) and Shanghai Observer (Chinese) JD Releases Winter Sports Consumption Report In one key trend, search volume for Bing Dwen Dwen - the official mascot of the Winter Olympics - accounted for 90%, with over 10M people searching for the topic. Various indoor and outdoor winter sports venues and training institutions in southern China have been quickly developed, attracting more enthusiasts in the south. Among these areas, Sichuan has become the number four destination for winter sports lovers in China. Read more on Pandaily (English) and ChinaZ (Chinese) China Coach Sees Positive Cross Country Future

Chinese national cross-country team manager Zhang Bei hopes their best-ever Winter Games performance will have a “profound impact” on the country’s future in the sport. Though they are still far from podium contention, China’s 10th-placed finish in the women’s 4x5km relay is considered a serious achievement in the discipline. Read more on SCMP (English) and People’s Daily (Chinese). Panda Mascot, Eileen Gu Among Winners in Olympics Brand Fest This Winter Olympics season in Beijing has seen a myriad of international advertising and marketing campaigns with many iconic stars winning the hearts of audiences. Brands everywhere are benefiting from athlete partnerships, a surge of CNY sales, and increased interest in winter sportswear. Read more on Campaign Asia (English)


🤔 Opinion Su Yiming Is the Rebel That Luxury Needs The Chinese snowboard star is already making unprecedented waves. Netizens in China have gushed about his friendship with Eileen Gu, sports broadcasters raved about his performances, and brands have competed for his attention. Read more on Jing Daily (English) China’s Subtropical Southwest Welcomes a New Sport: Ice Hockey Since the announcement of the first home Winter Olympics, ice hockey has been embraced by many people, even those from subtropical areas such as Yunnan province. A kids ice hockey team named Fire Chicks is a perfect example. Read more on Sixth tone (English)

How Nationalism in China Has Dethroned Nike and Adidas Data collected by Bloomberg shows sustained consumer pivots away from Western brands such as Nike and Adidas, as Chinese brands continue to grow due to the increase in national pride. Read more on Bloomberg (English)


🗞️ Other news Why NFT Trends in China May Point to the Future of NFTs Globally The NFT trends in China may foretell a global trend of NFTs. According to the Stink Studios' managing director in Shanghai, China’s discrete approach to NFTs laid a foundation that could put China in the position of NFTs frontrunner. Read more on Campaign Asia (English).


🎫 Events

Sports Matters Academy Delivered over eight modules, the Sports Matters Academy is produced by, with and for the Asia Pacific sports business community with some of the industry’s most accomplished executives, sports managers, and creative minds to provide guidance and insight to aspiring professionals. Read more on Sport Matters (English)

The 1st China-Europe Sports Summit: Moving Together The half-day summit will see experts analyse various aspects of the fast-developing sports landscape in China. Following opening speeches by European and Chinese representatives, four panel discussions featuring representatives from European sports companies, sports opinion leaders and government representatives will dive into the development of the winter sports industry, youth sports development, sports marketing and digital sports as well as the wider ecosystem of the sports industry. Read more on European Chamber (English)


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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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