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  • Writer's pictureDenis Green

China Sports Business Weekly | 3rd February

Hello Industry Friends, here is the very latest news and insights from China. 📰 Headlines: Shinai Sports lands Women’s World Cup rights, BVB opens first China academy, LPGA cancels China tournament, Burton and Su Yiming release winter sports collection, Beijing 2022: A year on, China’s revenge travel & spending, and the latest on the situation surrounding the Chinese Overwatch League teams. 🗣️ In this week’s From The Top, we spoke with Benjamin Wahl, Head of BVB China, about the club’s new academy in China, what success looks like, and adapting the BVB model to China.


🗞️ Top Industry News Shinai Sports to Broadcast FIFA Women’s World Cup Shinai will air all 64 matches of the tournament across its multiple platforms, including iQiyi and QiyiguoTV. The agreement covers digital rights in Mainland China, with exclusive free-to-air broadcast rights still available. Read more on FIFA (English) and Sina (Chinese) 💡 Mailman Take: The close time proximity between China and Australia & New Zealand will mean high viewership for the tournament, and optimism for the team is growing. The Steel Roses are a formidable force, with the majority of the side plying their trade across Europe’s top sides. A strong run for China this summer will do wonders for women’s sports, and no doubt brands will be rushing to get involved.


 

BVB Opens Xiamen Academy The Bundesliga club has opened its first international youth academy in China, in Xiamen. The academy is brand new, built on a former golf course, right next to the sea. The complex is one of the biggest sports facilities worldwide in terms of the number of pitches: 34 high-class football pitches have already been built, with 12 more to come. Read more on BVB (English) and Dongqiudi (Chinese) 💡 Mailman Take: There haven’t been many successful examples of international sports teams or organisations getting it ‘right’ in China regarding academies. Too many over the years have opened only to find their doors closed shortly after. Location, the right local partner, marketing, and business model are all key to ensuring a successful project. But most importantly, it has to be for the long term.


 

LPGA Cancels China Tournament Again For the fourth year in a row, COVID-19 will prevent the LPGA from playing a tournament in China. The LPGA announced that it will not hold the Blue Bay LPGA in March in Hainan. Read more on Reuters (English)

💡 Mailman Take: As with F1, it appears that March and April come too soon for recently-opened China to host some international events. But there won’t be many more like this. We expect a strong second half of 2023, with large-scale international and domestic events taking place in packed-out stadiums & arenas across the country. Burton and Su Yiming Release Collection The collaboration between the brand and the Winter Olympic gold medalist will include products such as snowboards, skis, and winter clothing items. The joint theme of the product line is called ‘Back to the Beginning’. Read more on Tencent (Chinese) Beijing 2022: A Year On All the Beijing 2022 venues are being enjoyed by the public and local athletes, and the winter sports industry in the country is booming. Driven by Olympic Agenda 2020 and Olympic Agenda 2020+5, the Games have engaged 346m Chinese in winter sports since 2015, and created lasting, wide-ranging social and economic benefits for local people. Read more on Olympics (English) Peak Basketball Signs NBA’s Jose Alvarado The popular Chinese brand will make the New Orleans Pelicans guard the new face of Peak basketball. Alvarado will be the face of the company’s upcoming “Attitude” shoe line and advertising campaign. Read more on Boardroom (English) and NetEase (Chinese)🤔 Opinion Revenge Travel & Spending: CNY Domestic Tourism Generates Over $55Bn In Revenue In the first six days of the Chinese New Year (CNY) holiday, a total of 308m tourism trips within China were made. With revenge travel also came revenge spending; total revenue generated from domestic tourism during this year’s holiday stands at RMB 375.8Bn ($55.6Bn), a 30 percent year-on-year increase from 2022, and 73.1 percent higher than in 2019. Read more on Jing Daily (English) China’s Winter Sports Market: Outlook and Opportunities for Foreign Players With 50m people expected to participate by 2025, China’s winter sports market is set to become the biggest in the world. Since winning the 2022 Winter Olympics bid, the Chinese government has purposely intensified its efforts to build dedicated facilities and raise awareness around winter sports, encouraging their rising popularity among younger generations. Read more on China Briefing (English)

 

🎮 Esports Chinese Overwatch League Teams Ponder Options as They Wait for Activision Blizzard The separation of NetEase and Activision Blizzard earlier this month will likely lead to a lot more layoffs in China. This number could reach the thousands if you include professional players, streamers, and talent. Read more on The Esports Advocate (English)

 

🎙️ From The Top 🗣 Benjamin Wahl, Head of BVB China 1. Tell me about this new academy in Xiamen? Is it built using the famous BVB model? How much has been changed to adapt to China? We will combine our world-famous youth football development model with the regional needs in Asia. The cultural exchange, plus the focus on education besides technical football skills is an aspect that we will focus on to develop the players on- & off the pitch. In these times, youth exchange programs between nations might be more important than ever. 2. What do you anticipate success for the academy will look like in 5 years' time? Football is always a long-term approach. Together with our partner, we will implement the BVB youth football approach. We will send our BVB experts, establish an exchange program between youth teams, scout players all over China, and cooperate with schools & universities, and with local & national federations and we are confident to build up one of the nicest, most ambitious & competitive academies in Asia. 3. The club has been active in China for many years. Why open an academy now? In Xiamen - Hooray, we have found the perfect conditions for our BVB youth football approach: excellent facilities, 34 top-notch pitches - built on a former golf course - a school, a hotel, a top-level gym, swimming pools, the beach behind the palm trees - everything in one location. The weather in Xiamen is mild throughout the year and our partner has high ambitions in youth football as well. We've been in talks with several offers for an academy but in Xiamen, everything was there already.

 

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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