Views from the East | Which areas investors will put big money in?
We talk with sports professionals to help you find business opportunities in China.
Guest: Jeremy Gao
Gao involves in sports investment area at different leading organisations including Weiying Group and Huayi Entertainment Group (300027.SZ). He has strong experience in sports business and holds a Master degree in Sport Management.
Q: You have been working in the investment & capital area for a few years, do you notice any investment trends in sports in 2017&2018?
A: We view sports industry in China from two prospects: pro sports and sports activities for mass. For pro sports, not so much we can do for VC investment; also there is no good policy for sports gambling and live streaming for startup companies. There are opportunities for very few companies who have venue resource, athlete connection and etc., but not so many for startup companies. For mass sports, we have seen a few listed companies in NYSE and Nasdaq from china that has huge user base. We notice the growth and investment logic for Chinese people participating sports (not talking about pro athlete), that way we go out and invest companies who provides business service for non-pro sports event in terms of event management, venue operation, event marketing, media service and corporate financing.
Q: What makes your company start new business in sports?
We have seen over the past 10 years many entertainment giants have gone public in China, given the support from PE investment. Given the policy issued in 2014 focusing china sports development, we strongly believe that sports giant companies are likely to be more connected with VC investors too. Sports investment is at some point about taking the invested company to the higher capital market, we have had achievement for entertainment companies over the past 10 years, for the next 10 years we are likely to increase and add sports as part of the investment portfolio.
Q: Are you looking for investment opportunities overseas? If you want to look for international partners for Chinese investors, what opportunities or any specific partners will interest you and your company?
Absolutely. For Chinese sports investors we are more of the acquisition type, which means we are more likely to acquire the target company as appose to general VC investment. We look for companies who have the barrier in terms of technology, sports resource and management system. By acquiring high level sports firms globally, we look for opportunities to bring global sports events, activities, celebrities and brands to China for further development, given the open policy for sports in China, given the growing sports market in china.
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