The International Olympic Committee and worldwide TOP partner Alibaba Group have announced the launch of the first-ever Olympic store on Tmall, China’s largest B2C online marketplace for brands and retailers.
The new Olympic store will initially only be available to Chinese fans, to take advantage of demand in the region for Olympic-branded products ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics and the 2022 Beijing Winter Games. The IOC will then look to launch it in the rest of world, starting in Europe, Japan and the USA in 2020.
The new e-commerce strategy is part of the IOC’s new Global Licensing programme, which emerged out of Agenda 2020 and seeks to use Olympic-branded merchandise to engage new fans and develop an additional revenue stream outside of sponsorship and media rights. The launch was announced at the second annual Tmall Winter Festival in Zhangjiakou, a three-day online and offline retail event to generate excitement for winter sports among Chinese consumers.
The Olympic store on Tmall will offer official products developed as part of three Olympic core licensing collections. The Olympic Games Collection celebrates the upcoming Olympic Games and includes branded products from the Beijing 2022 and Tokyo 2020 Games, such as pins, apparel and other memorabilia. The Olympic Heritage Collection will feature products that include art and design elements from previous Games editions, such as postcards of historical Olympic posters, connecting fans and connoisseurs with the heritage of the Olympic Games. Finally, the Olympic Collection will target a young and active audience through branded products, mainly sports equipment and toys.
Timo Lumme, IOC television and market services managing director, said: “We are delighted to launch our first Olympic store on Alibaba’s Tmall in China, one of the world’s largest ecommerce marketplaces. The launch was made possible thanks to the support of our Worldwide Olympic Partner Alibaba’s technology and expertise, as well as our partnership with the Beijing Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games 2022.”
Piao Xuedong, director of the Beijing 2022 marketing department, said: “It is the first time in the history of the Olympic Movement that Olympic fans can use an online store to look for licensed products both from the historical Olympic Games and the upcoming Olympic Games. Beijing 2022 is getting full value by innovating the licensing programme today. Our licensing team will keep supporting the Olympic store on Tmall by providing more wonderful products in the future.”
In December 2017, Alibaba Group, in partnership with the Beijing 2022 Organising Committee, introduced the official online shop for Beijing 2022 on Tmall to help promote the Games among fans in China.
Alibaba Group and the IOC entered into long-term strategic partnership in January 2017. The e-commerce group serves as the official “Cloud Services” and “E-Commerce Platform Services” partner of the IOC, and is a founding partner of the Olympic Channel through to the 2028 Games.