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  • Writer's pictureDenis Green

China Sports Business Weekly | 5th May

Hello Industry Friends, here is the very latest news and insights from China. 📰 Headlines: FIBA brings on Yili, Zhuhai to welcome back tennis to China, WTT extends China Gold sponsorship, Beijing targets 2027 world athletics championships, Liverpool signs China ecommerce deal, Zhang Zhizhen makes tennis history, how Western brands can master the Chinaverse, and Chengdu Hunters disband.


🗞️ Top Industry News FIBA Brings on Yili as Global Partner The International Basketball Federation has brought on the Chinese dairy giant as its newest Global Partner. As part of the agreement, the Chinese-owned company will land key commercial rights, including on-court branding at the upcoming FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023. Read more on FIBA (English) and Sports Money


WTT Extends China Gold Sponsorship The commercial and events arm of the International Table Tennis Federation announced the Chinese state-owned jewelry brand has renewed its sponsorship for the 2023 season. The brand became an official WTT partner in 2022, and will continue to receive branding assets, tickets and hospitality access and fan engagement rights at WTT events in China. Read more on SportBusiness (English) and Sports-idea (Chinese)


Zhuhai Championships To Welcome Tennis Back To China The tournament will welcome the return of ATP Tour tennis to China for the first time in four years this September. The ATP Tour 250 event has secured one of the world’s best players to headline the celebration. Medvedev will make his debut in Zhuhai in the tournament running between 20-26 September 2023. Read more on ATP (English) and Sohu (Chinese) Beijing Targets 2027 World Athletics Championships China’s capital city is hoping the World Athletics Championships will return to China, by bidding to host the 2027 edition of the event. Beijing was the only responder to a process led by the Chinese Athletics Association (CAA) seeking interest from cities in looking to bid for the 2027 Championships. Read more on SportBusiness (English) and Shanghai Observer (Chinese) 💡 Mailman Take: China has lost time to make up for in the live events industry following years of strict border closures. Any international sporting events the country can bid to host, we’re sure they will. The facilities are there, and so are the live sport-starved fans. Liverpool Signs Ecommerce Deal with All Star Partners The Premier League club has announced a new official retail partnership with All Star Partners (ASP), a sports and ecommerce retail company in China. ASP will deliver official Liverpool merchandise via digital ecommerce marketplaces on the Tmall, Douyin and JD online platforms. Read more on SportBusiness (English) and Ifeng (Chinese) Sambo Added to Chengdu 2025 Programme The martial art and combat sport has been added to the programme for the 2025 edition of the organisation’s World Games event in the Chinese city of Chengdu. Read more on SportBusiness (English) Zhang Makes History After Reaching Madrid Quarters Zhang Zhizhen made Chinese tennis history when he became the country’s first men's player to reach the quarterfinals of a top ATP Tour event. Entering the Madrid Open as world No 99, Zhang defeated world No 10 Taylor Fritz of the United States in the fourth round. Read more on ESPN (English) and Xinhua (Chinese) Adidas Launches Patriotic Clothing Line to Win Over Chinese Consumers The German sportswear company launched a patriotic clothing line to win back the hearts of Chinese consumers and revive its popularity in the country. This latest move comes after Adidas suffered a significant decline in sales in China. Read more on DAO (English) and Sohu (Chinese) China’s May Day Holiday Reveals New Favorite Tourist Destinations China’s domestic tourists are back in full force, journeys undertaken over the May Day holiday show. A record high of 19m domestic railway trips were made on the first day of the five-day Labor Day holiday, which ended on May 3, Beijing welcomed over 22m visitors to its 60 key commercial areas, who drove spending on goods up 41.7 percent in the capital. Read more on Jing Daily (English) China Sales Rise for Sports Brands in First Quarter Sales of some sports brands in China picked up in the first quarter as sports regained popularity after the country eased its Covid-19 prevention and control measures. US sports shoe brand Skechers reported a 10 percent jump in global sales to $2bn in the three months ended March 31. Read more on Yicai Global (English) and Sina (Chinese)


🤔 Opinion How Western Brands Can Master The Chinaverse China will play a big part in the evolution of the digital space. China has clear government-directed policies and goals for the metaverse set out in its most recent five-year plan, with many predicting that it will have the first interconnected, functional national metaverse as a result. Read more on Jing Daily (English)


🎮 Esports Chengdu Hunters Disband The Chinese Overwatch League franchise has been disbanded. Reportedly, the majority of the organisation’s core players have moved over to another OWL team in China - Hangzhou Spark - or are currently free agents. Read more on The Esports Advocate (English) and NetEase (Chinese) NetEase Sues Blizzard Entertainment After Terminated Partnership China’s games giant NetEase has reportedly filed a lawsuit in Shanghai against American game developer Blizzard Entertainment. This is the latest in an ongoing saga between the two heavyweights, much of which has played out in bitter spats on social media. Read more on Video Games (English) and Sohu (Chinese)


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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