• Denis Green

China Sports Business Weekly | 26th April

Updated: Aug 27, 2019

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

Dicos Delivers NBA Partnership The NBA (National Basketball Association) announced a deal with fast-food chain Dicos, making the Taiwan-based brand a marketing partner of NBA China. Dicos plan to engage fans with NBA-themed meals and family activities across its 2,500 outlets in China. They will also stage interactive fan events at this year’s NBA China Games, taking place on October 10 and 12, when the Los Angeles Lakers face the Brooklyn Nets in Shanghai and Shenzhen, respectively. Read more on Sport Business (English) and Sohu (Chinese)


NBA Teams to Sell International Sponsorship Rights National Basketball Association (NBA) teams will reportedly be able to sell global marketing rights to two current or new sponsors outside the US and Canada. NBA China is estimated to be worth $4 billion and could generate even more revenue for the NBA teams if changes were made to the centralised model. Under the current model, all sponsorship deals are run through the NBA’s satellite office in China and revenues are divided equally. Read more on Sport Business (English) and Lanxiong Sports (Chinese)

  1. Mailman Take: This is a big step for the largest sports organisation in China. With many teams holding huge fan bases, we expect teams to invest more resources in China marketing to attract sponsors, thinking creatively to activate across available inventory – particularly on owned digital channels. The overall growth of sponsor dollars coming out of China will result in better quality content, access, and experience for fans in the long term.

OPPO Becomes Wimbledon’s First Asia Sponsor China’s smartphone brand OPPO has become the first official smartphone partner of Wimbledon tennis championships, the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) has announced. OPPO, based in Shenzhen, signed a five-year deal with AELTC. The partnership represents the Chinese company’s first move into tennis after it became the official mobile phone partner of FC Barcelona and the International Cricket Council (ICC). Read more on Ecosports (Chinese) and Global Times (English)

Autohome Named ITTF Official Sponsor The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) has announced leading online Chinese destination for automobile users, Autohome, as an Official Sponsor of the Liebherr 2019 ITTF World Table Tennis Championships currently taking place in Budapest, Hungary. The partnership includes category exclusivity in the Automobile Digital Marketplace, representing the first deal of its kind for the ITTF. Read more on ITTF (English) and ITTF (Chinese)

Bellator MMA Partners with iQiyi Sports Chinese digital sports platform iQiyi Sports has exclusively partnered with Bellator MMA in mainland China for the 2019-2021 championships. iQiyi Sports will live stream Bellator MMA events across all its media platforms. Read more on iQiyi (Chinese)

  1. Mailman Take: iQiyi sports, a joint venture between iQiyi and Supersports, may look to seek out a niche segment in China’s sports media rights landscape in coming years, as PP Sports (football) and Tencent Sports (US sports) currently lead the way in top-tier content at a premium price. Exclusive EPL rights in China move from DDMC’s Supersports to Suning’s PP Sports next season and uncertainty remains as to what PP Sports plans to do with the cornerstone property.

Hupu Reapplies for IPO This March, sports platform Hupu submitted its application to the Shanghai securities regulatory bureau to IPO, again. This is the second time Hupu has applied for an IPO in the last 5 years, after its previous application in 2015. Read more on Lanxiong Sports (Chinese) Esports News:

Douyu Files for $500 Million US IPO Chinese live streaming service Douyu, which focuses on video games, is preparing to raise up to $500 million on the NYSE. Wuhan-based Douyu is the second Twitch-like service backed by Tencent to go public in the United States. Its direct competitor Huya, which also has Tencent as a major investor, raised $180 million from its NYSE listing last May. Read more on TechCrunch (English) and Xinhuanet (Chinese) In Other News: Vice and Tencent Partner on Content Tencent Video has partnered with global youth brand Vice to create content exploring global youth culture, trends, and tribes. The eight-part series will explore the post-millennial decentralised global culture where movements, styles, and attitudes are found all over the globe. The series will be produced by Vice Studio and launched through Tencent Video in late 2019. Read more on The Drum (English)

— Now you can subscribe to our China Sports Business Weekly brief and have it delivered directly to you, wherever you are. Mailman is a global sports digital agency and marketing platform. We help global rights holders, athletes and brands build a successful business across China, Europe, and Southeast Asia. Learn more about our story here

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