The International Boxing Association (Aiba) has sealed a global marketing partnership with the Alisports arm of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group that will lead to the development of a new internet television channel for the global governing body.
The strategic partnership unveiled today (Tuesday) follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding in July agreeing to the development and promotion of boxing around the world.
The consolidation of this partnership will now lead to “significant investment” into Aiba competitions, media and digital platforms, as well as the creation of the internet television channel.
The agreement takes effect from January 1, 2018, with season eight of the World Series of Boxing among the first events to feel the impact of the investment. Aiba said the deal will harness Alisports’ capacity for increasing the digital and social engagement of events, developing and marketing assets including WSB competitions and realising its e-commerce potential.
The agreement includes contributions in television and digital global rights and new merchandising concepts. Through its significant experience in esports and sports training, Alisports will also develop and operate boxing esports and fitness boxing concepts for Aiba.
Aiba president Ching-Kuo Wu said: “The Alibaba Group’s reach and track record speaks for itself, and this agreement, alongside their recent sponsorship deal with the International Olympic Committee, displays their deep commitment to investing in sports around the world. Aiba has made significant strides in all areas in recent months and the commercial partnership strategy we are currently growing and consolidating is an essential aspect of our global approach for the next Olympic cycle.”
Alisports founder and chief executive, Dazhong Zhang, added: “We will be bringing our expertise to promote boxing around the world, and look forward to taking the prestigious Aiba brand and its biggest boxing tournaments to the next level in terms of their exposure and marketability.”