Here are the top China sports business news stories you need to know from this week, and check out our new weekly feature ‘From the Top’ where I chat with China’s sports industry leaders: This week: Sébastien Wasels, Managing Director of Paris Saint-Germain Asia Pacific.
PSG Announce Summer China Tour
French Ligue 1 Champions Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) will return to China this Summer for matches against Suning-owned Inter Milan in Macao (27 July) and Wu Lei’s Espanyol in Suzhou (30 July) as part of its pre-season tour in partnership with the club’s global sponsor, All. PSG will also take on Stade Rennes F.C for the Trophée des Champions in Shenzhen (August 3). Read more on Paris Saint-Germain English & Chinese
- Mailman Take: Suzhou and Macau present different fan offerings than tier-1 cities Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen. Tapping into these new locations provide an opportunity for the club to diversify its target audience and the PSG brand across football, entertainment, fashion, and other verticals.
DDMC Extends LaLiga Media Rights Deal in China
LaLiga, the men’s top professional football division in Spain, has announced that Chinese media platform Super Sports, a subsidiary of DDMC, has won an extension to its exclusive media rights to LaLiga in China, Macau and Taiwan from 2019/20 – 2024/25. Reports in Spain estimate the deal to be around $112 million per year. Read more on Sport Business (English) and Ecosports (Chinese)
- Mailman Take: An important purchase for DDMC’s Super Sports in China’s football media rights market where PP Sports has been dominant. Super Sports’ 6-year exclusive hold on the English Premier League rights ends this season, making the announcement of LaLiga a timely one.
Nanjing to Host Juventus against Inter Milan
Relevant Sports Group, the owner and operator of the International Champions Cup (ICC), has announced Serie A sides Juventus and Inter Milan will meet in Nanjing, China on July 24 at the Nanjing Olympics Sports Center as part of ICC 2019. The match will be broadcast live on state broadcaster CCTV. Read more on Juventus (English) and PP Sports (Chinese)
LaLiga Signs Academy Partner in China
China Sports Futurity Investment (CSFI) has signed an agreement with LaLiga that will lead to the development of LaLiga’s first permanent academy in China, as well as a youth tournament. The 10-year agreement states the academy will be located in Anning, Yunnan province and is expected to start operations in the second half of 2021. The academy will include schools, sports training camps, a specialised medical centre, and a football museum. Read more on LaLiga (English) and Sina (Chinese)
Chengdu Wins World Games 2025
Southwestern Chinese city Chengdu will host the 2025 World Games. The bidding result was announced at the 2019 International World Games Association (IWGA). It will be the 12th edition of the World Games in Chengdu, while Birmingham of the United States will hold the tournament in July 2021. Read more on China Daily (English)
Gillette Partners with Chinese Esports Players
Personal care and razor brand Gillette has partnered with five Chinese esports players from mobile game Honor of Kings, for a series of promotional campaigns. Gillette used the images of all five players on a campaign poster on its JD online store and social media Weibo. Read more on Esports Observer (English) and Gillette Weibo (Chinese)
In Other News:
Most Valuable Chinese Brands Announced
Alibaba has been named China’s most valuable brand in the annual BrandZ list. Alibaba rose from second place after boosting brand value by 59% year-on-year to $141 billion. This ended Tencent’s four-year reign as China’s most valuable brand as its value grew just 4% year-on-year to reach $138 billion. The tech giants maintain a significant lead on other brands with ICBC, China Mobile and Moutai rounding out the top five with values of $40 billion, $39 billion and $36 billion, respectively. Read more on The Drum (English) and Sohu (Chinese)
From the Top:
This week I spoke to Sébastien Wasels, Managing Director of Paris Saint-Germain Asia Pacific, to discuss the Club’s recent China Tour announcement:
1. Why has China become such an important market for Paris Saint-Germain over the last few years?
The future of entertainment belongs in China. The speed of China’s development in all industries – not just sport – turns it into one of the most appealing places to grow a brand and fan base. An increasing number of exciting events have taken place in China over the past 10-15 years and as we expect to see more in the future, we want to be a part of it.
Paris Saint-Germain First team will tour China next summer for the third time in five years. Every time, it is an opportunity for us to meet and greet our Chinese fans and build even stronger relationships with them. We have witnessed an incredible increase in attention for PSG in China over the past few years, and Chinese superstar Wang Shuang joining our women’s team last season has amplified our popularity even more.
2. A large number of European clubs have visited China in recent years, what does Paris Saint-Germain plan to do differently in order to stand out from the crowd?
We are a very young club, compared to other European clubs which were founded in the 19th century. Indeed, in 2020, Paris Saint-Germain will celebrate its 50th anniversary. Still, in such a short period of time, we have won more trophies than any other French club, fully embraced the digital world – being followed by over 70 million fans worldwide – and developed a brand that echoes the style of our times.
Our unique youth allows us to be more innovative than others and we will leverage this to address Chinese fans. Since 2011, the Club has started a full makeover. Some of the best players in the world play for us, including the next generation of champions. We are the first football club with a vision to turn into a global sports & lifestyle brand. We have invested and built strong credentials in many vertical activities, including sports, fashion, and entertainment. We are especially popular among millennials. We are therefore looking at the future with great ambitions.
3. What are the long-term goals for PSG in China, as you recently hired a team on the ground on the mainland?
Our goal is to inspire more and more Chinese fans to embrace our unique vision of sport, entertainment, and lifestyle. This means that we must explain better who we are and what we stand for, as well as allow Chinese fans to grow and shape their passion for football by our side.
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