LAUSANNE: China has extended its commercial reach in major international sports with e-commerce giant Alibaba becoming a TOP sponsor of the Olympics up to and including the 2028 Games, wherever they may be staged writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Beijing, in 2022, will become the first city to have hosted both the summer and winter Games after the initial 2008 engagement with the Olympic movement.
Confirmation of Alibaba’s involvement – mirroring the sponsorship by Wanda of the FIFA World Cup – was announced simultaneously by both the company and the International Olympic Committee.
The timing was carefully planned with Chinese President XI Jinping having visited the IOC in Lausanne yesterday and with Alibaba’s executive chairman Jack Ma currently in Switzerland to attend the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos where the announcement was made.
Alibaba, which becomes the official ‘cloud services and e-commerce platform services partner, as well as a ‘founding partner’ of the Olympic Channel, joins a dozen other companies – including Coca-Cola and McDonald’s – as TOP Olympic sponsors.
Olympic observers consider a four-year sponsorship deal as worth $100m which could mean Alibaba planning to invest more than $500m in the project.
The partnership will include Alibaba working to build the Olympic Channel.
In a statement, Mr Ma said that Alibaba would use “our innovations and technologies to help evolve the Olympic Games for the digital era”.
IOC president Thomas Bach added: “ “In this new digital world, Alibaba is uniquely positioned to help the IOC achieve a variety of key objectives outlined in Olympic Agenda 2020, while positively shaping the future of the Olympic Movement.
“This is a ground-breaking, innovative alliance, and will help drive efficiencies in the organisation of the Olympic Games through 2028, whilst also supporting the global development of digital opportunities including the Olympic Channel.”
IOC and Alibaba Group launch historic long-term partnership as Alibaba becomes Worldwide Olympic Partner through 2028
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Alibaba Group (NYSE: BABA) today jointly announced a long-term partnership through 2028. Joining The Olympic Partner (TOP) worldwide sponsorship programme, Alibaba will become the official “Cloud Services” and “E-Commerce Platform Services” Partner, as well as a Founding Partner of the Olympic Channel.
The partnership was announced today at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, with IOC President Thomas Bach, Alibaba Group Founder and Executive Chairman Jack Ma and Alibaba Group Chief Executive Officer Daniel Zhang.
Thomas Bach, President of the IOC, said: “In this new digital world, Alibaba is uniquely positioned to help the IOC achieve a variety of key objectives outlined in Olympic Agenda 2020, while positively shaping the future of the Olympic Movement. This is a ground-breaking, innovative alliance, and will help drive efficiencies in the organisation of the Olympic Games through 2028, whilst also supporting the global development of digital opportunities including the Olympic Channel.”
“Alibaba’s partnership with the IOC is built on a foundation of shared values and a common vision for connecting the world and enriching people’s lives,” said Jack Ma, Founder and Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group. “We are proud to support Olympic Agenda 2020, using our innovations and technologies to help evolve the Olympic Games for the digital era.”
Through this partnership, Alibaba’s contributions to the Olympic Movement will include:
“Alibaba is proud to empower the International Olympic Committee in a game-changing digital transformation, while moving another step closer toward our goal to serve 2 billion consumers,” said Daniel Zhang, Chief Executive Officer of Alibaba Group. “We will leverage our experience in serving a young user base to help connect more young people to the Olympic Movement, helping to strengthen our brand through this historic partnership.”
Tsunekazu Takeda, the IOC’s Marketing Commission Chair, said: “We are delighted to be working in the long term with Alibaba for the benefit of the Olympic Movement. This strategic partnership underlines the global appeal of the Olympic values and opens an exciting new chapter in this digital age.”
Alibaba is the first company to make a long-term commitment to the IOC through 2028 and the first Chinese company to commit to the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.
Alibaba will support the organisers of each edition of the Olympic Games, and the Olympic Movement around the world. These rights will include advertising and promotional use of Olympic marks and imagery from the Olympic Games as well as marks from the National Olympic Committees.
Alibaba’s global activation rights will include the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 and the Olympic and Olympic Winter Games in 2024, 2026 and 2028 in cities yet to be selected by the IOC.