Here are the top China sports business news stories you need to know from this week:
Red Card 2019 Launched Mailman’s Red Card 2019 report ranks the performance of European football clubs, leagues and players online in China. The English Premier League was announced as the number one league online in China, Real Madrid the number one club, and Cristiano Ronaldo the number one player. The winners were assessed by Mailman’s traditional metrics, and all 5 digital awards were judged by a specifically selected panel of industry experts. These awards include the best: Digital Campaign; China Original Content; Sponsor Activation; Innovation; O2O Activation. You can download the report here in English and Chinese. Read more on Premier League (English) & Ecosports (Chinese)
Mailman Take: The last 12 months have seen consistent growth in China’s football industry. Sports IPs no longer simply target brand awareness online, the challenge has been to balance this with digital ROI. Brands started to develop new mediums in 2018, including Mini Programs, apps, branded content, and online/offline partner activations, to generate this return. The online landscape has become more competitive with a third tier of football clubs launching. Their focus on peak moments throughout the season has been successfully adopted to create headlines through original video production, major campaigns and new platform launches.
Juventus Opens Shanghai Academy The Academy in Shanghai was officially welcomed into the Bianconeri family of academies spread across the world. The latest opening is the fifth in China, following those in Zhuhai, Meishan, Tianjin and Nanjing, and has already attracted 250 sign-ups since it started operating in September. Read more on Juventus English and Chinese
Li Na Inducted into Hall of Fame The first-ever Chinese Grand Slam Champion, Li Na, will soon be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame (ITHF). Li Na won the 2011 French Open and 2014 Australian Open champion and helped put the game on the map in the world’s second-largest economy. She will be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Read more on Forbes (English) and Tencent Sport (Chinese)
Migu to Serve China Volleyball League The subsidiary of state-owned China Mobile Communications, Migu, has struck a digital rights deal with the Chinese Volleyball Super League, the top league in the country. Migu has obtained the exclusive digital broadcasting rights to all China Volleyball League competitions and events from 2018 to 2022, as well as the exclusive co-operation rights. Read more on China Daily (Chinese) and Sportcal (English)
Under Armour Signs Zhu Ting American sports apparel and footwear brand Under Armour has announced the signing Zhu Ting, the Chinese women’s volleyball star. Read more on Under Armour Weibo (Chinese)
Xtep Signs Jing Tian The Chinese sportswear brand Xtep announced that they have signed the Chinese actress Jing Tian to be their official brand ambassador. Jing Tian is a popular actress and has starred in many TV series, as well as international and Chinese films. Read more on PRNewswire (Chinese)
In Other News: NFL Playoffs Attract Huge China Audience The National Football League (NFL) conference championship games attracted double-digit gains in viewership in the United States, and were also a big hit in another huge media market: China. More than four million individuals in China watched the games, an increase of over 150% from a year earlier. Read more on Forbes (English) and Baijiahao (Chinese)
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