Asia

Features

The NFL has been active in China for a decade, opening its first office in the market in 2008. Its early efforts were designed to back up the broadcast of live games on television.

English Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur has an estimated fan base of around 45m in China, according to the club, with five Official Supporters Clubs in the country. It has over 2m followers on Weibo and has its own WeChat page and Youku channel.

The NBA started playing in China in 1979 when the Washington Bullets took on China’s national team at the invitation of then Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping. Few foresaw that one day China would play such a huge role in the NBA’s international growth.

Liverpool was the first European football club to enter Chinese social media in July 2011 with the launch of an official presence on Sina Weibo, coinciding with a club tour of the country. Liverpool was also first to launch on WeChat, in 2013.

It’s obvious that the platforms that dominate in China are markedly different to those that marketers are familiar with elsewhere – even in nearby Asian markets. However, it’s not just the platforms that are different; the ways that Chinese netizens use social channels is also notably different. As digital marketing agency We Are Social points out, “marketers need to carefully adapt their approaches for China’s cultural and societal idiosyncrasies as much as for its technological differences.”

PyeongChang has struggled to muster sponsors for its hosting of the 2018 winter Olympics. Elisha Chauhan asks industry experts why Korean electronics firm Samsung had to join the domestic roster, despite it already being a worldwide partner of the Games.

Owen Evans asked Jeff Slack, former IMG senior vice-president of football, for a sports marketer’s perspective on working in China and whether the David Beckham factor kick-started football in the country.

Elisha Chauhan asks the leading experts helping China’s crackdown on illegal sports betting and match-fixing if this is a game that can be won.

China's president, XI Jinping, reportedly keeps a framed picture of himself kicking a football on the wall of his Beijing office.

Owen Evans asked Ma Guoli, chairman of Infront China, why the one-size-fits-all broadcaster policy in the country’s media market is under threat from the digital revolution and a trio of entrepreneurial upstarts.

SportBusiness International looks at the rise of digital media company LeTV, and how it is disrupting the Chinese media market.

After adidas prised Houston Rockets star, James Harden, away from Nike for $200m last month, we look at whether it was enough to give the German giant the upper hand in its age-old rivalry with the Americans.

China’s status as one of the key pillars of the Olympic Movement was secured last month after Beijing won the vote to become the first city to host both the summer and winter Olympics. Mark Dreyer, editor of China Sports Insider, tells us what impact it has had on the rest of the country.

Elisha Chauhan asks industry experts to assess the Tokyo 2020 national stadium saga, and whether it will be ready on time and on budget, having dropped Zaha Hadid Architects’ controversial design.

Broadcasters, event organisers and sponsors have tried and failed to crack the sporting code in India, in an attempt to reach the country’s billion-plus cricket-mad population. We hear from the insiders who have succeeded.

Ahead of its second edition, organisers of tennis’ Wuhan Open is tripling the size of its host venue to 15,000 seats – more than all four grand slam showpiece courts. Elisha Chauhan asks if it is too much, too soon.

The contest to host the 2022 winter Olympic Games may be a two-horse race, but promises to be one of the most fascinating ever. Kevin Roberts explains why, examining the background to the bidding battle and detailing each candidate through the eyes of its bid leader.

The IPL (Indian Premier League) has been hosted in two countries away from its homelands in its short history. Now there is the real prospect of it having a permanent international presence. Elisha Chauhan reports.

The sponsorship alliance between football and foreign exchange (forex) trading companies is becoming a permanent fixture. Owen Evans looks at why.