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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Collins

China Sports Business Weekly | 22nd September

Updated: May 27, 2019

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

Ofo to Launch Limited Edition BVB Bike

Borussia Dortmund (BVB) announced a regional partnership with Ofo, the Chinese non-docking bike-sharing company this July. The agreement will see the Bundesliga club collaborate with Ofo on commercial projects and activations in China. During the International Champions Cup (ICC) series this summer, BVB players rode across Guangzhou on Ofo’s famous yellow bikes. Ofo is planning to leverage this partnership to expand into Europe.  Read more on SportsMoney (Chinese)

  1. Mailman Take: This is an excellent example of what can come from choosing the right partner in China. Ofo’s yellow and black livery makes them a perfect partner to Dortmund who famously don the same colours in their home strip.

NHL Gets Underway with Inaugural China Games

The NHL makes its maiden voyage to China this week and will deliver two pre-season games to China’s ice hockey fans as the NHL continues its push worldwide. The two-match series is taking place in Shanghai and Beijing and will be fought out by the Vancouver Canucks and the Los Angeles Kings. The NHL is aiming to take advantage of the increased focus on winter sports as China prepares for the 2022 Beijing Winter Games. Read more on NHL (English)

  1. Mailman Take: The NHL is following the example of other major sports organisations such as the NBA by sending its teams out to China for preseason matches. The NBA has shown how much being on the ground in China can benefit teams in terms of exposure, fan engagement and overall popularity of the sport.

Wanda Metropoliano to Host 2019 UCL Final 

Atletico Madrid’s stadium, the Wanda Metropoliano, has been named as the destination for the 2019 Champions League final.

The stadium, which can hold 68,000, hosted its first game last Saturday. The Wanda Metropoliano was chosen over Baku, which will be the venue for the 2019 Europa League final. Read more Xinhua (English)

Cadillac Takes Over Naming Rights of Wukesong Arena

Cadillac has taken over the naming rights of the Wukesong Arena in Beijing, formerly known as the LeSports Arena. The 63,000-square-meter area can host up to 18,000 spectators. The first international event at the Cadillac Arena will be the NHL preseason game between the Los Angeles Kings and Vancouver Canucks on 23rd September. It will also host the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup and all ice hockey games during the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.  Read more on Cadillac (English)

  1. Mailman Take: More and more major sporting events are taking place all across China every year. The visibility and exposure brands can enjoy from naming rights is becoming increasingly valuable. The Wanda Metropoliano is another great example, and the Champions League Final 2018/19 will no doubt see them benefit hugely.

Tag Heuer Becomes CBA’s Official Timekeeper

Luxury watch maker Tag Heuer has been announced as the official timekeeper and wristwatch partner of the Chinese Basketball Association for the 2017/18 season. The Swiss watch company will aid and support the development of Chinese basketball and help in the promotion of youth training. Read more on Sports Pro (English)

iFeng to Broadcast China Open

iFeng News App has signed a strategic partnership with the China Open tennis tournament, meaning iFeng News will become the exclusive platform to broadcast video clips of the China Open 2017.  The partnership will also allow iFeng News App to conduct interviews with tournament participants. Read more on iFeng (Chinese)

Southampton Initiate China Expansion Strategy

Southampton has launched their official Chinese website, Sina Weibo and Toutiao accounts this week. During the announcement, the club stated that it is excited to engage with more Chinese fans, business partners, and to become involved in youth development in China. Chinese businessman, Gao Jisheng, acquired 80% of the club in August. Read more on SportsMoney (Chinese)

  1. Mailman Take: Toutiao is one of China’s most popular mobile news apps. It was founded in 2012 and has more than 600 million active users. The personalised news app allows users to read news and browse pictures and videos. Platforms like Toutiao allow orgaisations to access different demographics to China’s social platforms.

Also this week:

The World Curling Federation (WCF) has announced that China will host the final of its inaugural World Series of Curling, a new annual four-leg international competition that will debut in the 2018/19 season.

Former Chinese diver and Olympic gold medalist, Wu Minxia, has recently launched her swimming apparel brand, MXW. The brand will focus on the youth and family markets.

Tencent and Jingdong ( launched a new CP (Content + Product) plan. Jingdong will receive the licensing rights from Tencent for several popular games including Glory of Kings and CrossFire.

According to media, a group of investors has reached an agreement and will take over a 30.66% stake in the sports platform from the owner Jia Yueting. The transaction is yet to be finalised.

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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