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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Collins

China Sports Business Weekly | 19th January

Updated: Jun 19, 2019

Here are the top China sports business news stories you need to know from this week:

Nike Named Most Influential Brand in China

According to the 2017 Top 50 Most Influential Sports Brands in China report, Nike ranked 1st ahead of the Chinese Basketball League and Chinese Super League. Chinese sports brands such as Anta, XTEP, and Li-Ning also made the top 10. The criteria included brand awareness, reputation, market share, and other key brand influence indexes. Read more on (Chinese)

  1. Mailman Take: China has become Nike’s fastest-growing market, with Beijing and Shanghai both in the top 12 cities that Nike invests most in. Nike has always been seen as positive by young generations in China. Millennials and Generation-Z have a lot of spending power and their appetite for apparel is very high. Design, appearance and brand culture are the key considerations when they buy and Nike has made extensive efforts on Chinese social media, cooperated with celebrities, and sponsored many Chinese sports organisations to ensure they stay at the forefront of these consumer’s minds.

Shenzhen to Host WTA Finals

The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) announced Shenzhen will host the WTA Finals from 2019 as part of a 10-year partnership. Shenzhen beat current host city Singapore, Manchester, Saint Petersburg, and Prague. The WTA is focussed on growing its footprint in China and the wider Asia-Pacific region. Read more on WTA Official Website (English)

  1. Mailman Take: Tennis, particularly women’s, is a maturing sport in China. It shot to popularity during the career of Grand Slam winner Li Na. Nine Chinese cities currently host women’s tennis tournaments, with the majority arriving since 2011. There are an estimated 30 million tennis fans in China, with the tennis market predicted to reach a value of RMB 60 billion by 2020. The modern city of Shenzhen, nicknamed China’s Silicon Valley, is home to tech giants WeChat and Huawei and provides an ideal location for the Finals. The WTA Finals will also help the area gain awareness, exposure, and will contribute positively to its tourism industry.

Chinese water brand Ganten has become the official bottled water partner for players, referees, and media at the 2018 Australian Open. The Ganten logo will appear courtside during the tournament. Ganten is the first Chinese brand to sign a global partnership with the tournament. Read more on Sohu (Chinese)

  1. Mailman Take: Ganten is one of many Chinese brands beginning to realise the potential of sports sponsorship. More and more Chinese brands are beginning to explore international markets and sports sponsorship is a great way to open doors. As marketing budgets increase across the board, “Made in China” is set to shake off its low-price and low-quality reputation.

PEAK Interest in Xiamen

Chinese sportswear brand PEAK signed an agreement with the Xiamen Culture and Broadcast Media Group at the International Sports Industry Fair held in Xiamen last week. The establishment of the PEAK-Xiamen Culture and Broadcast Industry Investment Fund will include operational rights to sporting events and focus on the development of sports real estate, sports towns, and fitness centres. Read more on Sohu (Chinese)

LeBron’s Jersey Tops China   

Since the start of the 2017/18 NBA season, the jersey sales of NBA star Stephen Curry ranked first in the United States. In China, however, three-time league MVP Lebron James’ shirt sales rank number 1, with Curry in second place. Read more on Sina (Chinese)

Sports Dream Invests in TV Series Sports industry development company Sports Dream has invested RMB 20 million to produce a football-related TV series in collaboration with photo studio P-Pictures. Barcelona legend Andrés Iniesta will co-produce the series. Read more on Sohu (Chinese)

The Saints Celebrate New Year in China Southampton Football Club recently co-organised an official New Year party in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, marking the Chinese-invested club’s first interaction with its Chinese fans since entering the domestic market. The event was organised by Lander Holdings and Southampton Football Club. Read more on Sohu (Chinese)

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Mailman is a leading China sports digital and marketing platform. We help global rights holders, athletes and brands build a successful business in China.

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