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For sports organisations and brands working to establish themselves in the market, or those still examining the opportunity, there is no doubt that China represents a challenging and complex playing field. The size of the opportunity, however, is undeniable. Of the world’s 50 most populated cities, 17 are in China. The country’s population – currently around 1.4 billion – represents over 18 percent of the world’s total. Throw in the government’s much-publicised national targets for sport development and the opportunity is unparalleled.
As global and Chinese sports properties find a foothold in this fascinating market, a deep and rich understanding of the Chinese consumer – who they are, what they like and don’t like, how they behave, how they are changing and how they are different from fans elsewhere in the world – has become ever more critical, in order to create, drive and maximise commercial partnerships.
It is these themes – in particular the sometimes-striking differences between China’s younger and older generations – that are examined in the latest whitepaper to be produced by international sports and entertainment sponsorship consultancy, research and evaluation firm Nielsen Sports and Leaders.