China Sports Business Weekly | 22nd February
Updated: Aug 27, 2019
Here are the top China sports business news stories you need to know from this week:
CFG Among New Owners of Sichuan Jiuniu City Football Group (CFG), UBTECH (a Tencent-backed AI and humanoid robotics company), and China Sports Capital have announced the joint purchase of Chinese Club Sichuan Jiuniu FC, in the China League Two (CL2). Based in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, Sichuan Jiuniu plays its home games at the 27,000 capacity Chengdu Longquanyi Football Stadium. Read more on CNBC (English) and Sina Sports (Chinese)
Mailman Take: This purchase culminates an extended search by CFG for a Chinese club to join its growing global network of football clubs (currently 7), following speculation surrounding several clubs from the Chinese Super League (CSL) to CL2. In purchasing the club, the owners will be hoping to tap into the growing domestic talent pool, as well as serving the longer-term aim of returning a successful footballing entity to the Midwest of China. Chongqing Lifan, the only club in the region currently competing in the East coast-dominant CSL, maintained an average attendance of over 30,000 in 2018, while a club in neighbouring province, Shaanxi Chang'an Athletic averaged over 17,000 per game playing in the same division as Sichuan Jiuniu - signifying a notable passion for the sport in the region.
Spurs Announce China Summer Tour Tottenham Hotspur FC has announced that its First Team squad will travel to Shanghai as part of its pre-season tour in July in preparation for the 2019/20 season. Read more on Tottenham Hotspur (English) and Tencent Sports (Chinese)
Mailman Take: Tottenham Hotspur FC was particularly active during the Chinese New Year period. The club launched a new Mini Program named ‘City of Spurs’ to deliver more information and entertainment to the Club’s fans in China. The Mini Program is designed as a long-term, sustainable and multi-functional hub for Spurs fans in China. Throughout Chinese New Year, the Club produced 10 original China local videos including the First-Team players interacting with the Shanghai Spurs Official Fan Club and Chirpy the Club mascot. These videos generated over 6,200 in engagement, 5 million video views and 6.54 million hashtag reads.
Kobe Bryant to Headline FIBA World Cup Draw The basketball legend, despite his retirement in 2016, is still the most followed basketball athlete online in China. Kobe will headline a star-studded event when the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Draw, presented by Wanda, takes place on Saturday, March 16, in the Chinese city of Shenzhen. Read more on FIBA (English) and Sina Sports (Chinese)
Xia Boyu Wins Laureus Award The Chinese double amputee climber received the most votes globally to become the 2019 Laureus Sporting Moment of the Year winner. Xia was selected from an initial list of 10 nominees from which the three finalists were revealed earlier this month, before claiming the prize at the star-studded ceremony in Monaco. Read more on Xinhua (English) and Sohu Sports (Chinese)
New England Patriots China’s Most Popular NFL Team The Super Bowl champions have experienced a record-breaking 12 months in China. The Patriots became the country’s number one club online, surpassing 500,000 followers on leading digital platform Weibo; produced the first China-specific NFL franchise studio show and delivered the Tom Brady China Show - a dedicated China series featuring the superstar quarterback. Read more on Sports Techie (English) Newzoo and Ecosports to Collaborate on Esports Report Chinese sports media business, Ecosports, has announced a partnership with Newzoo, a leading global provider of games and esports analytics. Ecosports will become the exclusive content partner for the Global Esports Market Report in mainland China. Reads more on Newzoo (English) and Ecosports (Chinese) SAIC Motors and SIPG FC Extend Partnership Chinese Super League club Shanghai SIPG FC have renewed their partnership with SAIC Motors for 2019, marking their fourth year of collaboration. Read more on Sina (Chinese) In Other News: Wu Lei & Wang Shuang Awarded Golden Ball at CSL Gala Former Shanghai SIPG striker Wu Lei, who joined LaLiga side Espanyol last month, claimed the Golden Ball award at the Chinese Super League (CSL) gala. The women's Golden Ball award went to Wang Shuang, who signed a two-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain last August. The Golden Ball awards list was decided by votes from the top 100 Chinese media, based upon the players' performances throughout the season. Read more on China Daily (English) and Baijiahao (Chinese)
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