Just the news today

Posted in 2008 Olympics, Sports Business, Tennis, Winter Sports at 9:53 am by Nicole

Lots of links, lots of news:

Tennis: WTA Tour to undertake significant China expansion (Bob Larson’s Tennis News)

Olympics: China counts down to glory (China Daily); Beijing 2008 – 500 days to go (Olympic.org); Beijing unveils Olympic medals (TVNZ New Zealand); Olympic sports roundup from the week (Boston Globe)

Snooker: Nation’s hopes rest on rising star (People’s Daily Online)

Sports Marketing: Sports product firm shoots for long-term goals (China Daily)


A New Link

Posted in News, Sports Business at 8:40 am by Nicole

I’ve added a link to BusinessWeek’s Asia section on the Sports Business page of the CSB. More and more over the last seven months of writing the blog, it’s become apparent to me that sport in China is a huge business and media story as much as it’s a story about the score, the games, the championships, and the people playing the games. The subjects are beginning to intertwine so much that I recommend anyone who wants to understand the sports world in China make a point of reading about Asian business on a regular basis.


The news today

Posted in Basketball, Sports Business, Track and Field/Athletics at 2:29 pm by Nicole

The Chinese basektball team lost to the United States last week in Guangzhou – not an unexpected result. But the passion for NBA-level basketball was the real story of the exhibition, which also included a matchup between highly competitive Brazil and a revamped U.S. squad, desperately trying to make up for the antics of its overmatched 2004 Olympic squad, which brought home bronze. Both nights in Guangzhou, the stands were packed and the audience was knowledgable, cheering for every good move, regardless of who was scoring the points. The biggest cheers, of course, were reserved for Yao Ming, who suited up with the team for the Monday night game, but didn’t play.

This week, it’s Beijing and the world junior track and field championships, the largest international sporting event ever to be held in Beijing, according to press reports.

World Junior Track and Field Champs open in Beijing (China Daily)

And a small news tidbit from the sports marketing world: The Li-Ning company, China’s most visible sportswear brand, has teamed up with Shaquille O’Neal for a sponsorship deal that will see Shaq’s “Dunkman” clothing line marketed in China. Shaq and Li Ning, China’s “prince of gymastics” from the 1984 Olympics, made an appearance together at the China World Hotel on Monday evening in Beijing. I’d never seen Shaq in person before, so between him in Beijing and Yao Ming, Wang Zhizhi, and all those big NBA players hovering over me in the mixed zone in Guangzhou, I have to say: it’s been a week of being surrounded by some very tall people.

Chinese firm drafts NBA’s Shaq (Wall Street Journal Online)
Shaq jumps feet-first into China market (The Oregonian)
Shaq signs deal to tout Chinese sneakers (UPI)


A Whole Lotta Links

Posted in 2008 Olympics, News, Sports Business, Track and Field/Athletics at 10:12 am by Nicole

Titan Sports is China’s pre-eminent sports newspaper. In Beijing it’s available at every newsstand, and of course it’s been full of headlines about Liu Xiang’s world record and his return to Beijing late last week. The sports headlines over the last few days have been too numerous to count – below, a smattering of the best and most timely pieces I’ve seen since the end of last week.

People’s Daily Online: China cheers Liu Xiang as Superman returns

IAAF.org: Day 3 update from the Asian junior track and field championships – the world championships will be held in Beijing next month. Other news ahead of the worlds – Omar prepping for Beijing (Saipan Tribune); Jamaicans celebrate with junior CAC triumph (Jamaica Observer)

BBC.com: Scoring on China’s sports fields – sports marketing in China

ABC News (USA): U.S. ousts China in World Cup of Softball

The Standard (Hong Kong): Dirty Politics on Two Legs – a commentary on sports and corruption in China and abroad

Pacific Epoch: CityTV tackles Olympic media center

The Observer (London): Broadcasters at war over “mad” Olympic start times


EuroBiz magazine on sports marketing in China

Posted in Sports Business at 1:57 pm by Nicole

An article crossed my desk today from the February 2006 issue of EuroBiz magazine, the journal of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China. Check it out – “Sporting Chance” is an excellent read on the state of sports marketing today, especially regarding Liu Xiang, arguably the country’s most marketable sports star.


The News…

Posted in 2008 Olympics, News, Sports Business, Tennis, Track and Field/Athletics at 10:22 am by Nicole

Track and field: More on the Hershey’s Track and Field Classic (U.S. vs. China)(Philadelphia Daily News); The Official Press Release for the Event (Yahoo Finance)

The Olympic Scheduling Controversy: Lenton slams NBC TV’s Olympic Swim Campaign and Time Switch May Be A Plus: Talbot (The Age, Australia)

The BOCOG Official-Sacking Controversy: Beijing Corruption Case Signals Political Battle (Reuters India)

Tennis: China Pleased About Wimbledon Seeding for Li (CRIEnglish.com) Editor’s note: This is a big deal. With her 28th-place seeding at Wimbledon, Li Na becomes China’s first seeded player in a Grand Slam singles championsip.

Rugby: Leicester helps build Chinese dynasty and Johnson and Underwood Lead Leicester’s Chinese Takeaway (Times Online, UK); British rugby stars impart skills to Chinese kids (ZeeNews.com)

Winter Asian Games: UAE for Asian Games ice hockey (Gulfnews.com) Editor’s Note: The Winter Asian Games will be held in Changchun, China from January 28-February 4.

Sports diplomacy: Cuban Sport Leader Visits China (Escambray, Cuba)

More on 2008: China prepares Olympic menu with Chinese characteristics (People’s Daily Online)


News Headlines

Posted in 2008 Olympics, Football, Sports Business, Track and Field/Athletics at 3:24 pm by Nicole


Wistful fans wish China were there as World Cup kicks off (People’s Daily Online)

Goooooal-obalization! (Los Angeles Times – a great, informative look at the fight for China’s sports fans: Will it be NBA basketball or European football that wins the hearts and minds of the Chinese?)

China TV expects 10 billion to tune in for finals (Reuters UK)

All eyes on Germany for China’s illegal gamblers (Reuters India)

2008 Olympics:

Beijing Sacks Olympic Construction Head (Channel Nine News, Australia)

US and Chinese Olympic Committees sign Memorandum of Understanding (Associated Press, via the Olympian (WA); the Orange County (CA) Register also reported the story)

NBC wants morning swimming finals in 2008 (Globe and Mail; also reported by the China Daily with comments from Alan Thompson, Australia’s swimming coach, and the Sydney Morning Herald with more comments from Thompson. The SMH printed a second article today on the proposal questioning whether the decision would be in the athletes’ best interests.)

Track and Field: Canada wins against China in Harry Jerome Meet (Runners Web).

Sports Business: Puma confident about its prospects (TMCnet)


Track and field, Football and More

Posted in 2008 Olympics, Basketball, Football, Sports Business, Track and Field/Athletics at 11:53 am by Nicole

Tennis: Zheng Jie and Yan Zi are another step closer to a second Grand Slam title. They defeated Anna Chakvetadze and Elena Vesnina (4-6, 6-2, 6-1) yesterday to advance to the semifinals of the French Open. Their next opponents are the 5th-seeded team of Daniela Hantuchova and Ai Sugiyama.

Track and Field: The Harry Jerome Track Classic will be held later today in Vancouver, Canada. The meet features a competition between the Canadian and Chinese track and field teams for the Pacific World Cup. The Runner’s Web feature linked above has lots of excellent information about the history of the competition between the two countries.

In Turin, Italy, Ma Ning won the women’s javelin in the IAAF athletics meeting held earlier this week. Ma won the event with a throw of 59.91m. Second place went to Zhara Bani (59.04m). In Florence, Russia beat China and Italy in a three-way meet that saw a young Chinese team getting experience ahead of 2008.

Football: China’s “friendly” against France yesterday wasn’t too friendly to French striker Djibril Cisse. Cisse broke his leg during the match, which will keep him out of the World Cup. Fox Sports Australia (via Agence France Presse) has the story.

With all the hoopla about tomorrow’s start of the men’s World Cup, here’s a reminder for football fans everywhere: don’t forget about the women. The 2007 Women’s World Cup in Football will be held in China from September 10-30. Unlike in the men’s World Cup, the women’s event is extremely strong in China and the host country should be a contender.

The World Cup tour group mess involving a Chinese ticket agency continues, according to the Daily Yomiuri. Steep cancellation fees for airline and hotel reservations will mean no refunds for the 608 people who bought tour packages through Max Air Service in Japan, which was to have received World Cup tickets through China International Sports Travel Corporation.

Basketball: India should follow the “China model” in developing grassroots interest in basketball, according to former NBA player Robert Reid. Zeenews.com (India) is running a story on Reid’s recent trip to a three-day youth basketball camp in India. According to the article, Reid would like to see India focus on developing a team that can place in the top five in the Asian Games or the Commonwealth Games – a strategy employed by China to build support for the game. Whatever China did, it sure is working – the China Sports Blog gets many inquiries daily from people who want to know when the NBA finals will be shown on CCTV-5. If India can do for the NBA what China has already done, watch out.

Sports Business: “Cross-media technologies.” That’s the buzzword for all of the marketing around the World Cup that focuses on delivering information content to subscribers through a variety of media, including of course mobile phones and other “mobile” media-delivery devices. Information Society Technologies has a feature story on the ways in which cross-media technologies are being used to market the World Cup.

Havas has launched a sports-marketing arm in China, according to Forbes. Lucien Boyer, CEO of Havas’s sports marketing division, is quoted in the article as saying that he expects China to have the second-largest advertising market in the world within a decade.

2008 Olympics: UPS has signed a memorandum of understanding with BOCOG to provide express delivery services during the Beijing Olympics. Elsewhere in Olympic planning, Beijing is working on responses to any public-health outbreaks that could occur during the Olympics.


Today’s News

Posted in 2008 Olympics, Basketball, General, Sports Business at 10:31 am by Nicole

Sports Business: China is cashing in on the World Cup. Asia Times Online reports that over 50,000 Chinese have booked tours to the World Cup in Germany, despite the high price of tickets and tours. The article also notes that CCTV’s advertising revenue for the World Cup is already 300 million yuan (around 37 million US dollars).

Diving: Australian teenager Melissa Wu lost a close battle to China’s Yuan Peilin in a FINA world cup event in Rome last weekend. Sportal.co.nz (New Zealand) has the story.

Beijing 2008: BOCOG officially launched its marketing plan for the 2008 Paralympics on Monday. The event will be held from September 6-17, 2008. The China Disabled Persons Federation has more information on people living with disabilities in China. The website also has a Chinese-language page with more information on the 2008 Paralympics.

Basketball: From May 27, a story about “China’s Next Yao Ming” from MSNBC… he’s tall, he’s 14, and his name is Zheng Zhun.


Shanghai Daily on Infront Beijing

Posted in Sports Business at 7:37 pm by Nicole

Infront Beijing, the Chinese arm of Geneva-based Infront Sports and Media AG, has signed a series of high-profile sports marketing deals recently. Read about it in this report from the Shanghai Daily.

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