China Sports Business Weekly | 5th January
Updated: May 27, 2019
Here are the top China sports business news stories you need to know from this week:
ASUS Invests in Esports
Electronics company ASUS has invested $16 million in esports operation Huajing as they seek to establish a presence within the esports community. Huajing will take charge of developing ASUS’ esports ecosystem in China, including a team to compete in Tencent’s LPL league. They are looking to build a complete esports business model which develops academies and organises large-scale esports events. Read more about it on Sohu (Chinese)
Mailman Take: Tech companies in China are looking grow their association with esports players and fans to establish themselves in the lucrative and fast-growing market. Other companies are sponsoring competitions and teams and using it to target specific demographics, for example, Jeep is a major sponsor of the LPL league. Read our Esports Issue here
Wanda Considers Sports IPO
China’s Dalian Wanda Group is considering an initial public offering with a potential Hong Kong listing for its sports businesses. Owned by one of China’s richest men, Wang Jianlin, their list of sports assets is wide-ranging, including Infront Sports & Media AG (acquired for $1.2 billion), World Triathalon corp. (organisers of Ironman) and smaller assets such as cycling and basketball leagues. The public float would not involve Wanda’s 20% stake in Atletico Madrid. Read more on Reuters (English)
Mailman Take: Wanda are one of several Chinese companies that have invested heavily overseas and into sports businesses in recent years. However, a governmental shift towards discouraging overseas investments seems to be causing an adjustment of strategy as Wanda looks to solidify their position under the new guidelines.
Dallas Mavericks Renamed
Chinese basketball fans were put in charge of renaming the Dallas Mavericks in China. Mavericks owner, Mark Cuban, set Chinese fans the challenge of suggesting a better translation of the word ‘Mavericks’. Selecting from the top 3 names, 100,000 fans voted for their favourite, resulting in the new name – ‘Lone Ranger Heroes’. Read more on Yutang (English)
Mailman Take: Selection of appropriate Chinese names for sports teams and players is extremely important. Literal translations are sometimes linked with negative connotations in Chinese, others can be too long or hard to remember. Airbnb ran into trouble in the summer of 2017 when they lauched their China specific brand and proved how crucial it is to get it right. The Mavericks have done well to mitigate most of the pitfalls by getting their fans involved in the process, this is likely to be a model reused by other sporting entities in the future.
Anhui Province Sets Eyes on Sport
Anhui’s provincial government has signed a series of deals as they seek to grow themselves into an RMB 200 billion sports powerhouse by 2025. An agreement was reached with National Sports group to work together on the development of sports towns, sports eco-parks, and motorsports camps. Read more on Yutang (English)
China Sports Lottery Revenue Grows
The China sports lottery generated over RMB 200 billion in 2017, having raised over RMB 50 billion for the sports lottery public welfare fund in the process. Read more on Lanxiong (Chinese)
Yanjing Renews CFA Cup Sponsorship
The Chinese Football Association has announced a new agreement with Yanjing Beer to sponsor the competition for the next 4 years from 2018-2021. The renewal means cooperation between the two parties will reach 8 years following Yanjing’s replacment of Toshiba in 2015. Read more on Lanxiong (Chinese)
YONEX Signs Second Badminton Player
YONEX have signed badminton world champion Wang Yihan as an official partner. Both sides will work together to promote the development of Chinese badminton. This marks the second time YONEX has worked with a Chinese athlete, having previously reached an agreement with the Olympic champion, Lin Dan, in a 10-year endorsement deal valued at RMB 100 million. Read more on Lanxiong (Chinese)
Tencent Recruits Alcantara
Team Penguin of Tencent Sports’ World Cup series has signed up Bayern Munich’s Thiago Alcantara to show exclusive behind-the-scenes content during the upcoming FIFA World Cup. Read more on Tencent (Chinese)
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