China, Digital & Media, Future Trends, Leaders Podcast, Sponsorship, Sport Business | Jul 30, 2018
Episode 41: In conversation with Alibaba, HBSE, DDMC Fortis, ONE Championship, Bundesliga International, AFL, Discovery, and Sina Sports.

Just how transformative will Alibaba’s Olympic deal turn out to be? Why is DDMC Fortis’s capture of AFC rights a milestone moment in the evolution of the global sports industry? And how, exactly, can you shift your Chinese strategy from engagement to monetisation?

By James Emmett

These were a few of the questions posed to the speakers at the Leaders Sport Business Summit in Beijing on 25th July.

250 senior international executives gathered at Sina’s headquarters in the ‘Beijing Silicon Valley’ in the north west of China’s capital to discuss strategies for growing sport and sports businesses in China, and to forge some valuable connections along the way.

Backstage, we spoke to a selection of the speakers to get the inside track on their activity in one of the most beguiling but challenging markets in world sport.

On the podcast:

Leon Xie (9:00) – the GM of Olympic Business at Alibaba on plans to activate the biggest deal in Olympic history; Alibaba’s objectives and how it intends to measure success; and whether there are other major international sponsorship deals in the pipeline;

Scott O’Neil (21:15) – the CEO of Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment on the Philadelphia 76ers upcoming two-game trip to China; and what teams can do for their own commercial ends within a tightly controlled league environment;

Yu Hang (28:28) – the Executive Director of DDMC Fortis on how the deal for all AFC commercial rights from 2021 to 2028 came about; revenue targets and execution goals; why it represents a breakthrough moment for Chinese sports business; and his thoughts on international media rights values and consolidation in the Chinese market;

Victor Cui (40:45) – the ONE Championship CEO on the series’ dominance in Asia; and why a China-specific strategy is imperative for cracking the market;

Kevin Sim (52:45) – the new Head of Asia Pacific at Bundesliga International on why China is on the verge of another huge growth cycle; and how the Bundesliga is going about trying to unearth the Yao Ming of football;

Kylie Rogers (1:01:39) – the Commercial GM of the AFL on playing the long game in China; and plans to supercharge China’s participation in contact sports;

Alex Kaplan (1:07:21) – the President and GM of golf for Discovery on the gigantic new deal with the PGA Tour and why Asia – and China specifically – is key to its success;

Sam Li (1:13:02) – the Head of International Business for Sina Sports on why the organisation’s burgeoning offline events business is providing a valuable new revenue stream distinct from the pure advertising media model that its competitors rely on.

Listen to the interview below, and subscribe today on iTunes, Stitcher, Overcast, or your chosen podcast platform.

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