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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Collins

China Sports Business Weekly | 20th October

Updated: May 27, 2019

Australian Open Announces New Sponsorships

The Australian Open announced several new partnerships this week in Shanghai at the Australia China Sports Summit. The grand slam signed agreements with travel agency Ctrip, premium water brand Ganten, and extended their four-year broadcast partnership with Internet platform iQIYI. Read more on AusOpen (English)

  1. Mailman Take: International sports organisations such as the Australian Open are using local brands to directly connect with consumers on different channels and platforms. China had the largest audience growth worldwide for last year’s competition, and the deal with Ctrip will help them reach a much wider consumer base. Promoting the tournament through sports tourism is a natural fit for the Australia Open.

Orient Hongtai Invest in Imagina

Chinese private equity firm Orient Hongtai has agreed to buy a majority stake in Spanish sports rights group Imagina for $1 billion, following the trend of deep-pocketed Chinese investors looking to transform China into a global sports powerhouse. Imagina owns the exclusive rights to distribute La Liga worldwide. 

Read more on Reuters (English)

  1. Mailman Take: In August 2017, China’s government moved to curb domestic companies’ investments abroad, particularly in real estate, sports, and entertainment. China is shifting its focus to specific sectors that it feels will aid it’s long-term growth ambitions and domestic economy. 

The CBA Signs China Life

The Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) has announced Beijing-based insurance company, China Life, as the league’s first premier partner. The China Life-owned Guangfa Bank has also become the official finance partner of the CBA. As part of the agreement, China Life will own the advertising space at the centre of CBA courts. Read more on China Life (Chinese)

TCL Upgraded by the CBA 

Chinese multinational electronics company TCL was promoted to an official partner of the CBA. The company has been working with the CBA as an official sponsor for the past eight years. TCL also extended its partnership with the national men’s basketball team. The company wants to use national-level sports assets to engage with younger sports fans. Read more on SportsMoney (Chinese)

  1. Mailman Takes: Since becoming President and Chairman, Yao Ming has been leading CBA reforms and business development. For the upcoming 2017/18 season, the CBA has a new and diverse sponsorship portfolio including numerous top brands from both international and domestic markets. The CBA has also launched its official WeChat and Weibo accounts in a bid to gain exposure and engage more fans. 

Also this week:

DeSports Wins FIFA Sponsorship Rights

Chinese sports and entertainment firm DeSports has won the rights to be FIFA’s exclusive agent for Asia sponsorships for the 2018 World Cup. FIFA offers three levels of sponsorship opportunities, including partner, official sponsor and regional supporter. DeSports will sell the regional supporter opportunities in Asia. Read more on Lanxiong (Chinese)

AC Milan Pen Alphenwater Deal

AC Milan has signed a multi-year strategic partnership with Chinese premium drinking water brand Alpenwater. It will become the official water of AC Milan and will work with the club in both Italy and China. This is AC Milan’s first Chinese sponsor since ownership changed hands in April. Read more on AC Milan (English)

Suning Sports Partners with Volleyball

Suning Sports signed a two-year non-exclusive media broadcast deal with the China Volleyball League from 2017/18 to 2018/2019. Juli Sports (originally known as PPTV Sports), owned by Suning, will be named as the official partner of the China Volleyball League. Read more on EastDay (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.

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