• Denis Green

China Sports Business Weekly | 29th October


Hello Industry Friends, here are the very latest news and insights from the past week in China.


📰 Headlines: Mengniu partners with FIFA for Qatar 2022, European football is back on CCTV, Beijing 2022 releases playbook, Migu lands Volleyball Super League rights, Alibaba Cloud to upgrade sporting events, China marathons get cancelled, and Li-Ning plans international expansion.

🗞️ Top Industry News Mengniu Qualifies for Qatar 2022 The Chinese dairy product manufacturer becomes an official partner of the upcoming showpiece event which is set to start on November 21 next year. Mengniu’s branding will be promoted across all official tournament venues and on its related digital assets. Read more on SportsPro (English) and Xinhua (Chinese) 💡 Mailman Take: Other than the Olympics, there’s no bigger sports showpiece event in China than the FIFA World Cup. The biggest Chinese brands tend to splash the cash every four years to ensure they’re hitting eyeballs across China, as well as looking to grow their exposure globally.


European Football Returns to CCTV Bundesliga was the first major European league to secure a media rights deal with CCTV for the 2021-22 season. CCTV began showing the Bundesliga in early October as part of a three-season deal. The French Ligue 1 returned last weekend, while Serie A is understood to be close to an agreement. Read more on SportBusiness (English)

💡 Mailman Take: New decision-makers at CCTV have shown less interest in sport, not including the Olympics, meaning western sports properties face an uphill battle getting their content in front of millions at a high price. Beijing 2022 Releases Playbook The playbook, which details measures to combat the COVID-19 threat at the Games, comes as Chinese authorities clamp down on new outbreaks which caused the postponement of marathons in Beijing and Wuhan. The six core themes of the Playbook are: Closed loop management; Vaccination; Trace, test, and isolate; Minimised physical interaction; Think hygiene; COVID-19 liaison officers. Read more on SportBusiness (English) and Xinhua (Chinese) 💡 Mailman Take: All eyes will be on how China handles these recent outbreaks with less than 100 days to go until the Winter Olympics. If these outbreaks keep happening, we could be seeing plenty of empty seats come February 4 in Beijing.


Migu Serves Up Volleyball Super League Deal The video streaming service of China Mobile has renewed its domestic women’s and men’s media rights for three seasons, 2021-22 to 2023-24. The women’s league is particularly valuable – women’s volleyball in China is popular due to several decades of success by the national team. Read more on SportBusiness (English) and Beijing Daily (Chinese) Alibaba Cloud to Upgrade Sporting Events The Chinese technology giant introduced three new cloud-based software services to help manage large-scale sporting events like the Olympic Games. These introductions include: a new comms platform to simplify event communication; AI-powered simulation to enhance training programmes for volunteers; cloud-based ticketing system based on Alibaba’s Taobao and Tmall. Read more on SportsPro Media and Ecosports (Chinese) MLB China Donates Supplies to Power Angel Baseball Organisation in Chengdu

MLB launched a CSR initiative offering support to elementary students in Sichuan province. MLB staff were on-hand to deliver supplies to the kids living in Liangshan, Sichuan, providing them with their first-ever authentic baseball experience as well as baseball’s fun, love, and family elements. Read more on CRI (Chinese)


Beijing 2022 100-Day Countdown Video Released

The video, themed “Dual Olympic City”, highlights the past, present and future of Beijing as a city that will have hosted two Olympic events. Watch the video on SCMP (English)


China Postpones Beijing & Wuhan Marathons

The postponements come as the country's top health official warned that a fresh outbreak of cases is expected to spread further. China has reported more than 133 cases across 11 provinces so far. Read more on BBC (English) and Chinanews.com (Chinese)


💡 Mailman Take: Not what the Winter Olympics doctor ordered. It’s unlikely we’ll see many large-scale sporting events take place in China until after Beijing 2022.

🤔 Opinion


Are Nike’s Days in China Numbered?

Jing Daily examines Nike’s new challenges in the Chinese market and whether it can safeguard its spot as the world’s top athletics company. Read more on Jing Daily (English)

🗞️ Other News


Li Ning Plans International Expansion

The Chinese sportswear group plans to sell $1.4B worth of new shares to raise capital for international expansion and for investment in newly launched product categories. Read more on Reuters (English)


US Revokes China Telecom License

Citing "national security" concerns, China Telecom must now stop providing services in America within 60 days. Officials said the Chinese government's control of the company gave it the opportunity "to access, store, disrupt, and/or misroute US communications". Read more on BBC (English) and Global Times (Chinese)

🎫 Events


AmCham Shanghai China Sports Forum 2021 Packed Out

100+ industry leaders from local and global sports organisations and agencies came together in Shanghai to discuss the latest trends and growth areas in China sports post-Covid-19. Here’s a recap of the event (English)


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Headquartered in Shanghai, China, Mailman is a global sports digital consultancy and agency. We help the world’s leading sports organisations serve their audiences and build their businesses. With over 200 experts across China, Southeast Asia, Europe, and the US, we specialise in digital strategy, transformation, social media, content production and eCommerce. Mailman is part of 160/90, an Endeavor company. Learn more about our story here.

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