Here are the top sports business news stories that you need to know from this week:
On April 17th, LA-based talent and sports agency CAA teamed up with China’s CMC Capital Partners to form CAA China. The Chairman of CMC, Li Ruigang, will join CAA’s Board of Directors. As per the agreement, CAA will have access to CMC’s resources and accelerate its efforts into a wide spectrum of new business and client opportunities in the Chinese market, including sport & entertainment talent endorsements, digital media, music and original content production. Read more here.
How to win bigger in a new market? Find a trusted local partner. CAA is following this and so is IMG.
On April 17th, IMG’s China division of the WME | IMG agency has formed a partnership with Focus Media International Technology that will feature video content distribution in China. Focus Media Information Technology Co. will enter into commercial cooperation with WME | IMG China in a bid to elevate the user influence of event programs under WME | IMG China and to create more overall brand promotion plans for its advertisers in the core entertainment field. Read more here.
Besides the inbound investment, China also exports top-level sports assets.
WNBA team Minnesota Lynx, today announced the team has signed forward Shao Ting out of the Women’s Chinese Basketball Association. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. Shao was offered a trial during Minnesota Lynx’s April preseason training camp with the possibility of representing the Lynx in their two pre-season games. The 28-year-old Shao has achieved great success in the Chinese basketball league, winning two WCBA titles with Beijing in the last two seasons, and was named finals MVP for the 2015-2016 season. She averaged 12.5 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.6 steals in the 2016-2017 season. Read more here.
Returning to China’s national teams, it was announced on April 19th that Chinese Sportswear brand ANTA has agreed to a sponsorship deal with 13 of China’s national winter sports teams, including speed skating, figure skating, curling and ice hockey. The partnership will officially start from August 2018 and run through July 2022. Read more here.
Another big announcement involving a sportswear brand came on April 20th, when Reebok signed young singer/actor William Chan as their new brand ambassador of the Reebok Classic product line in Greater China. Chan was also appointed the new ambassador for NFL China in late 2016. Read more here.
One of China’s fastest growing sports markets also received a major boost this week. On April 17th, the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) announced that it will include eSports in the 2018 Asian Games and make it a medal sport in 2022. The OCA will partner with Alisports to bring eSports to the Asian Games. eSports competitions will also be held at the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games as a demonstration sport in September, according to a statement from the OCA. eSports will remain a demonstration sport in 2018 before becoming an official sport in the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, China. Read more here.
More tradition sports are not quiet either. The NBA has signed a three-year partnership deal with Chinese Men’s skin care brand Wzun. Wzun can use NBA images at events, limited edition products and social promotion. Wzun wants to use NBA to position itself as a global men’s skin care brand. Wzun, founded in 2015, is owned by the Shanghai Chicmax Cosmetics Group. Read more here.
Competition in China is still on fire. We’re excited to see what amazing things will happen next week.