As the exclusive commercial partner for the CBA League worldwide, Infront has a broad remit and handles the commercial development of the League, along with global sponsorship sales. In addition, Infront handles the media rights for all league games, with the aim of further raising national and international awareness of Chinese basketball. The extension of the agreement follows on from an initial seven-year deal signed in 2005 and ensures that Infront’s dual prong approach of handling both the CBA League and Team China will be continued.
Between 2005-06 and 2011-12, Infront said the total number of league sponsors has tripled from nine to 27 with major global brands such as Nike, UPS, Tissot and Konica Minolta choosing to partner with the competition. The sports marketing agency said the increased commercial appeal was due to an enhanced marketing concept as well as a 130% growth in the cumulative audience, which rose to 725 million in 2011-12. In the new five year term, Infront and the CBA will seek to continue to develop the professional media and marketing concept of the League to correspond with the latest market needs. Infront added that one of the key priorities remains to raise the global appeal of the CBA League as a gateway for international brands to be associated with top-level Chinese sport.
“Over the past seven years, the CBA League has made significant progress across the board – in terms of the sportive performance, the commercial value and the social impact,” said Xin Lancheng, vice-president of the CBA. “Infront has been a key partner in this process and shares the association’s vision regarding the long-term development of the league. We are looking forward to partnering with Infront for the next five years and to further enhancing the league’s profile as well as repaying the fans, society and commercial partners for their consistent support.”
Ma Guoli, managing director of Infront China, added: “Based on the joint work of the CBA and all its partners, the league has gone from strength to strength in recent years – witnessed by the growing number of fans across the country and beyond. It has underlined its status as China’s most popular professional sports league in terms of both, marketing value and media reach. For the future, we will continue to constantly review the commercial appeal of the platform across China and beyond and to jointly exploit the league’s increasing potential in terms of sponsorship and broadcast coverage.”