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  • Writer's pictureDenis Green

China Sports Business Weekly | 23rd September

Hello Industry Friends, here is the very latest news and insights from China. 📰 Headlines: LIV Golf and Weibo agree on digital rights deal, Shanghai Grand Prix 2023 set for April, CMG sells portion of CFG shares, Jordan-backed WatchBox debuts in China, K-Ball lands Brazil Serie A rights, Man City renews Unilumin Sports partnership, MLB China announces virtual idol, a blog on the village basketball craze sweeping China, and China’s love for Patagonia and Federer.


🗞️ Top Industry News LIV Golf and Weibo Agree on Digital Media Rights Deal As part of the deal, Weibo has landed exclusive digital media rights for LIV's inaugural Invitational Series this year, with live coverage of the tournaments being streamed on Weibo's Sina Golf platform. The deal started with the first event of the season, in London in June. Read more on SportBusiness (English) and Lanxiong Sports (Chinese) Shanghai Grand Prix Scheduled for April 2023 The schedule for next season’s Formula 1 series includes the inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix, which is on a Saturday night, and sees the return of the Chinese Grand Prix after a three-year absence due to Covid-19 and closed borders. Read more on Sky Sports (English) and Sports Money (Chinese) 💡 Mailman Take: There had been rumours that the 2023 Shanghai Grand Prix was going to take place in October, rather than the regular April slot. These rumours appear dumbfounded. That said, October would provide a more optimistic month for the Grand Prix to take place as China continues with its strict zero-covid policy. A bubble format for next April could be the answer, but in reality, who wants an F1 race without fans? China Media Group Sells 4.1% of CFG Shares The US private equity group Silver Lake has increased its stake in the parent company of Manchester City Football Club, making it the second-largest shareholder in the business. Silver Lake acquired a 4.1 percent share in City Football Group from China Media Capital, taking its total holding to 14.5 percent. Read more on FT (English) and Sina (Chinese) Michael Jordan-Backed WatchBox to Debut in China American pre-owned luxury watch platform WatchBox has revealed its entrance into the Chinese market with the latest appointment of Andy Zhang as CEO of WatchBox China. The company is backed by basketball legend Michael Jordan. Read more on DAO (English) and Sina (Chinese) K-Ball Lands Live Rights to Brazil’s Serie A The Chinese streaming platform, which is owned by China Sports Media subsidiary Win Power, has acquired live rights to the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A. The platform will show live coverage of three matches per round throughout the rest of the 2022 season and the duration of the 2023 season. Read more on SportBusiness (English) HK Quarantine to Blame for World Dragon Boat Championships’ Thailand Move The International Dragon Boat Federation confirms a ‘difficult decision’ as it is the latest event to be cancelled in Hong Kong, a day after the Hong Kong Marathon was called off and Oxfam Trailwalker was denied a permit by the government. Read more on SCMP (English) and yahoo (Chinese) China Salutes Cherished Friend Federer Federer's announcement on Thursday that he will retire from pro tennis after this week's Laver Cup in London has triggered an outpouring of heartfelt emotions and respect from his huge legion of fans in China. Read more on China Daily (English) and Ecosports (Chinese) Tencent & OPPO Unite to Aid Rural Children’s Football Dream The Chinese tech giant teamed up with domestic electronics maker OPPO to build a football pitch for children who love football in the city of Zigong in Sichuan province, which is one of the target regions undergoing China’s poverty alleviation efforts. Read more on DAO (English) and Socialbeta (Chinese) Manchester City's Unilumin Sports Partnership Renewal As the Official LED display partner of Manchester City since early 2021, Unilumin provided the new ‘Supersized LED’ two-tier digital display system which was installed at the Etihad Stadium in May 2021. Read more on SportBusiness (English) and Uniluminsports (Chinese)


Nike & Ant Group Collaborate for Shoe Recycling Mini Program Nike, today, announced that it has joined Ant Group’s Green Energy Initiative and launched an official mini program on Alipay, the leading digital open platform, to encourage more consumers to recycle worn-out shoes. Read more on Yahoo (English) and Ecosports (Chinese) MLB Announces Virtual Idol in China Marketing in China for this year's Major League Baseball World Series will include appearances by 'virtual idol' Leah, as the American baseball league aims to reach young audiences in the country. Read more on SportBusiness (English) and Ecosports (Chinese)


🤔 Opinion 村BA: The Village Basketball Phenomenon Dominating China A festival-like basketball tournament has been growing in popularity across a number of China’s rural villages, grabbing the attention of the Government, traditional media, social platforms, as well as NBA China and Kuaishou. This phenomenon goes by the name of CunBA (村BA), which in English refers to ‘Village Basketball’. Our own Denis Green explores more on SportBusiness (English)


Patagonia Owner Gives Company Away, Elevating Credibility in China The Patagonia family’s move to give all company shares away to fight climate change and protect unspoilt lands has sparked a wave of positive feedback in China. The hashtag #PatagoniaFounderGaveAwayTheCompany has over 1.8M views on Weibo and media outlets such as The Paper, YiMagazine, and Jiemian News have covered the news. Read more on Jing Daily (English)


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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