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Top 10 China Sports Business Stories of 2018

Updated: Aug 27, 2019

Here are the Top 10 China sports business stories of 2018:

Mengniu Group Named FIFA World Cup Official Sponsor Chinese dairy company Mengniu Group became an official sponsor of the 2018 Russia World Cup. The deal included 4 categories of Mengniu’s products as their branding appeared on all key promotional platforms. It is the first time for a dairy brand to sponsor the World Cup. Read more on Bloomberg (English) and Lanxiong (Chinese)

Winter Olympic Games Teamed Up with Sina Weibo Sina Weibo became the official social media provider to the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang. As one of China’s largest social media platforms, it utilised its substantial user base and platform capabilities, such as live streaming, to increase the profile of the Winter Olympics in China. Read more on SportsPro (English) and Sohu (Chinese)

The NFL and Youku Partnered in China The National Football League (NFL) and Youku, Alibaba Group’s video entertainment platform, announced a digital partnership in China to bring high-quality football programming to Chinese fans. The partnership features weekly programming on Youku’s sports channel, including game highlights and behind-the-scenes stories from NFL games such as the Super Bowl, NFL Kickoff, Thanksgiving, and the NFL International series. Read more on NFL (English) NFL (Chinese)

Suning Sports’ A Round Funding Suning Sports raised $600 million in its A round funding, valuing Suning Sports at over RMB 10 billion. Read more on Reuters (English) and Sohu (Chinese)

Nike Extended CFA Deal  The Chinese Football Association (CFA) renewed its partnership with Nike. The deal will run for ten years at a total value of $473 million. Nike will continue to provide kits for all 16 Chinese Super League (CSL) teams. Read more on Sina (Chinese) and SportsPro (English)

UFC Returned to China The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returned to China for the second year in a row, following the last year’s highly successful sell-out debut in Shanghai. The event was held at the Cadillac Arena in Beijing on 24th November and was presented by UFC’s official tire partner in the Asia Pacific region, General Tire. Read more on Sina (Chinese) and UFC’s Official Website (English)

NHL’s Successful China Return The National Hockey League (NHL) returned to China for the second year in a row with two preseason games between the Boston Bruins and Calgary Flames. The games took place in Shenzhen (15th Sept.) at the Universiade Sports Centre and Beijing (19th Sept.) at the Cadillac Arena. Read more on Sohu (Chinese) and CNN (English)

AFC and DMCC Sign Historic Partnership The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and DDMC Fortis officially signed the deal which gives the exclusive rights to DDMC Fortis to market the AFC’s commercial properties for the next two cycles. The partnership runs from 2021 – 2028, starting with the 2022 FIFA World Cup final qualifying round. Read more on AFC (English) and Lanxiong Sports (Chinese)

Alipay Strikes Deal with UEFA Chinese payment platform giant Alipay signed an eight-year deal to sponsor all men’s UEFA national team football competitions from 2018 to 2026. In a deal worth a reported $230 million, Alipay will become UEFA’s official global payment partner for prestigious tournaments such as the UEFA European Championship and the UEFA Nations League finals. Read more on UEFA (English) and Qianzhan (Chinese)

IOC Opens Online Store Alibaba has opened a Tmall store for the International Olympics Committee (IOC) as part of a 10-year agreement to digitise the games. It’s the first online store of the IOC in China, allowing fans to buy official Olympics products developed for the store. Read more on The Drum (English) and Sohu (Chinese)

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