Here are the top China sports business news stories you need to know from this week:
The NHL Returns to China
The National Hockey League (NHL) will return to China this September for a pair of preseason games between the Boston Bruins and Calgary Flames making up the 2018 O.R.G. NHL China Games. The preseason games will take place in Shenzhen (15th) and Beijing (19th). Read more on the NHL official website (English)
- Mailman Take: Last year, the attendance for the NHL China Games was 12,759 (Beijing) and 10,088 (Shanghai). Growing the sport and increasing attendance is high on the NHL’s to-do list in China. As such, the fastest growing hockey cities in China – Shenzhen and Beijing – will play host to the 2018 fixtures. Beijing now has over 50 indoor ice rinks with over 3,000 youth hockey players and there are 10 indoor rinks with almost 1,000 players in Shenzhen. Alongside the games, the NHL will launch a series of grassroots programs. The league has already initiated a ‘ball hockey program’ (a simplified, off-ice, hockey game to get more kids involved) which started this Spring in 4 Beijing schools.
Infront Sports Invests in Copa90
Copa90, the digital football content group, has landed a 10% investment from Infront Sports, the sports marketing group controlled by Dalian Wanda. The investment will aim to fund international expansion in the build-up towards the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. Read more on SportsPro (English)
- Mailman Take: Behind-the-scenes content has become increasingly popular, especially for Chinese sports fans who get many fewer opportunities to watch their favourite team or players in action. Fans want to see their heroes up close and personal in their daily lives, rather than simply on a football pitch. The quality of videos is a crucial component to maintaining and attracting fans. On Weibo, quality videos gain views and engagement numbers much higher than the average posts. Copa90 continue to grow their reputation worldwide with their monthly video views recently reaching 30 million.
Marbury Joins Sports Blockchain Industry in China
Former NBA and Chinese Basketball Association star, Stephon Marbury, will be appointed the chairman of a new sports blockchain company under the Sun Seven Stars investment group. Mr Marbury will direct planning and operations for its athletic products, content, and branding blockchain services. Read more on Sina (Chinese)
Hebei China Fortune Teams Up with Schalke 04
Chinese Super League side Hebei China Fortune has reached a strategic partnership deal with Bundesliga outfit FC Schalke 04. These two sides will work together to identify and develop young talent. Read more on Sohu (Chinese) and on ESPN (English)
Alibaba Partners with CCTV Subsidiary
Alibaba has signed a technological partnership agreement with China International Television Corporation (CITVC). This deal will allow both sides to work together on enhancing their cloud platforms and big data services. Read more on Tencent Sports (Chinese)
DHS Sponsors World Table Tennis Championships
Sports equipment manufacturer DHS will continue to sponsor the World Table Tennis Championships in 2018 by providing table tennis facilities and equipment for the tournament. The sponsorship deal will continue through 2019. Read more on Sohu (Chinese)
BMW Sponsors Premium Equestrian Event in China
German automobile manufacturer BMW will sponsor the 2018 Shanghai Longines Global Champions Tour, becoming the exclusive vehicle partner of the event. Read more on PCAuto (Chinese)
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