Welcome to the latest edition of the China Sports Business Weekly.
This week: FIFA and EA Sports launch eChallenger series, BVB announce virtual Asia tour, Wuhan looks to schedule symbolic tennis Open, Zhang Weili signs 6th commercial partnership, ByteDance opens ecommerce operations, 6.18 festival breaks records, and the best Father’s Day creatives.
Top Industry News
1) FIFA and EA Launch eChallenger Series for Asia
The FIFA-organised esports activation will unite football stars, influencers, and professional esports players to go head-to-head in a special remote EA SPORTS™ FIFA Online 4 competition series. As part of FIFA’s objective to bring football to more fans around the world, the series will see teams and players from China, South Korea, Vietnam, and Thailand compete to become the winner of their respective country. The tournament will be held throughout the second half of June and streamed live on FIFA’s gaming platform, FIFA.GG. Read more on FIFA (English) and EA Sports (Chinese)
2) Borussia Dortmund Turns Asia Tour Virtual A summer tour off the cards due to COVID-19, the Bundesliga club will instead ‘virtually’ tour Asia this August with a series of online sessions between players and fans, live streams from training sessions and friendly games, and offline events. Read more on SportBusiness (English) and Ecosports (Chinese)
3) Wuhan Tennis Open Symbolic for City The annual Wuhan Open has tentatively been scheduled for October 19-25, with conditions based on factors including player safety, government approvals and relaxation of travel restrictions. At present, most foreign nationals are barred from entering China. Wuhan Open co-director Brenda Perry told AFP the tournament will not go ahead if overseas players cannot come, and that a final decision will be made around early August. Read more on Yahoo (English)
4) Zhang Weili Signs with Wusu Beer Current Chinese UFC champion Zhang Weili has become an official ambassador of popular alcoholic beverage brand, Wusu Beer. This partnership marks her 6th since retaining her belt in Vegas in March. The other brands she represents: Under Armour, Estée Lauder, JingDong, Audi, and Hailian Home. Read more on Ecosports (Chinese) 5) 361sport Named Official Partner of Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games One of China's most popular sportswear companies has become the official sports apparel partner of the Hangzhou Asian Games for the third consecutive Asian Games, after it first linked up with the Games at the Guangzhou Asian Games in 2010. 361sport is a high-level sponsor of the Games, along with Geely, Alibaba, Alipay, China Telecom, China Mobile, ICBC and Zhejiang Loong Airlines. Read more on Xinhua (English) and SportsMoney (Chinese) Travel News
The post-COVID-19 traveler will be notably different. The team at MailmanX have put together a playbook looking at the Five Trends Shaping Chinese Travel Post COVID-19. Read the Playbook here.
Best of the Rest ByteDance Opens Ecommerce Operations The owner of the short video platform Douyin and its overseas version TikTok, has formed a group-wide ecommerce business unit that will supervise ecommerce operations on Douyin, news app Toutiao, and the short-video platform Xigua Video. Read more on Jing Daily (English) and XXX (Chinese) 618 Shopping Festival Sees JD.com Break Records 6.18 (June 18) is the second-biggest shopping festival in China after Singles’ Day (11.11). JD.com broke new records with $38B in orders during the shopping festival (June 1 - 18). Total Gross Merchandise Volume grew 33% YOY, while the first 618 order was delivered in 8M 21S. Also on 6.18, Kuaishou's (a short-form video app) top live-streaming KOL Xin Ba sold $180M’s worth of products during a 10-hour live-stream. Read more on WWD (English) Yicai (Chinese) Father’s Day Creatives Check out some of the most imaginative Father’s Day posts, including fans encouraged to submit their own personal stories, pictures, and letters recollecting best sporting memories with their fathers. NBA Academy MLB Juventus
Esports News Wolverhampton Wanderers: “Our Esports Can Be Bigger Than the Club” In an interview with SportsPro, the club’s general manager for marketing and commercial growth, talks about how gaming is at the centre of plans for global expansion, particularly in China. Read the interview here. Top 10 This week we look at the most-followed Bundesliga Football Clubs on Weibo.
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