China Sports Business Weekly | 5th April
Updated: Aug 27, 2019
Here are the top China sports business news stories you need to know from this week:
Mailman Expands Asia Business and Hires Bima Said Global sports digital marketing agency Mailman has expanded its Asia footprint with a Singapore office and senior management hires in eight countries, including Bima Said formerly of DAZN Group. Mailman will provide best-in-class digital and content services for clients across Asia, including digital strategy, channel management, content production and community engagement. Read more on The Drum (English) and Ecoports (Chinese)
FC Bayern & China in Beijing The current Bundesliga champions will end this season with a trip to Beijing on May 29, 11 days after the final Bundesliga matchday. They will play the Chinese National Team in the "Allianz China Cup" at the Beijing ‘Bird’s Nest’ National Stadium. It will be the club’s fourth visit to China, one of the key markets in the club’s internationalisation strategy. Read more on FC Bayern in English and Chinese
Mailman Take: Many high-profile football clubs, including FC Barcelona and Real Madrid, have played friendly games against the China National Team in the past, with FC Bayern Munich the next team to take on the nation. The set up of this unique friendly by Allianz showcases an interesting development in the way foreign companies are increasingly targeting the Chinese consumer market and utilising football as a driver. Another example of this was the recent strategic sponsorship investment of German company Viessmann as a China regional partner for FC Bayern only. It will be interesting to see if more foreign companies look to invest in European football clubs or Chinese grassroots football to boost there branding in a strategic key market.
NBA Opens Beijing Flagship Store The National Basketball Association (NBA) has opened its largest official store outside of North America in China’s capital, Beijing. In conjunction with Nike and Topsports, a leading Chinese sports retailer, the new 1,145 square meter megastore has two floors and will provide Chinese fans with authentic NBA apparel from partners such as Nike, Jordan Brand, as well heritage merchandise from Mitchell & Ness. Read more on SportsPro (English) and NBA China (Chinese)
Mailman Take: The NBA shows no sign of slowing down on Chinese social media, with over 40+ million followers on Weibo and 6+ million on Douyin. It has been capitalising on that strong following with its ecommerce presence by opening official stores on TMall and JD.com in 2012 and 2014, respectively. Their offline growth has continued with the official NBA Style chain store reaching 200 outlets late last year and an ambition to hit 300 by the end of 2019. The opening of its first official store in China marks another milestone in NBA's offline expansion and signifies a deeper collaboration with its partners, Nike, Jordan, and Topsports.
FC Bayern Partners with Industrial Bank The Bundesliga club has signed a new regional partnership with the Industrial Bank of China (CIB), one of the world’s largest banks. As part of the multi-year deal, CIB will produce a range of co-branded Bayern Munich credit cards. This partnership will give the bank access to exclusive branding rights, rights to host meet-and-greet events with the club’s players, and rights to host fan trips to the Allianz Arena. Read more on Sport Business (English) and FC Bayern China (Chinese)
Handball League Launched in China The Chinese Handball Association Super League has officially launched, marking the first time a professional handball league has formed in the country. The league will consist of four teams: Beijing Guangcai, Jiangsu Wuyue, Guangdong Luhuan Simiao and the Chinese Handball Association National Men's Handball Club. Read more on China Daily (Chinese)
Mentholatum Signs Jeremy Lin & Han Dongjun Pharmaceutical company Mentholatum China has announced the signing of NBA basketball player Jeremy Lin and Chinese actor Han Dongjun as their two new ambassadors. Read more on Mentholatum Weibo (Chinese)
F1 Esports Series to Kick Off in China In agreement with Juss Intellisport Co. Ltd, the world of Formula 1 (F1) esports will come to China for the first time. The F1 New Balance Esports Series – China Championship will launch this summer, expanding F1’s reach and presence in the country. A special event will take place this month at the Formula 1 Heineken Chinese Grand Prix 2019 to celebrate this landmark moment at F1’s 1000th Grand Prix. Read more on F1 (English) and Juss Sports (Chinese) In Other News: Chinese Startup Raises $125 Million Ruhnn, a company that enables influencers to sell through ecommerce and is plotting to change the face of China’s fashion industry, has raised $125 million after it listed on the Nasdaq. The Alibaba-backed firm targeted to raise $200 million from its initial public offering. Read more on TechCrunch (English) and China.com.cn (Chinese) --
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Mailman is a leading China sports digital agency and marketing platform. We help global rights holders, athletes and brands build a successful business in China. Learn more about our story here