Alibaba Group enters into historic long-term Partnership with the IOC in a landmark deal facilitated by Shankai Sports

alibabaDavos, Switzerland, 19 January 2017 – The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Alibaba Group (NYSE: BABA) jointly announced a 12-year partnership at World Economic Forum as Alibaba Group joins The Olympic Partner (TOP) worldwide sponsorship program. Alibaba will become official “Cloud Services” and “E-Commerce Platform Services” Partner, as well as a Founding Partner of the Olympic Channel.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Alibaba Group (NYSE: BABA) jointly announced a 12-year partnership at World Economic Forum as Alibaba Group joins The Olympic Partner (TOP) worldwide sponsorship program. Alibaba will become official “Cloud Services” and “E-Commerce Platform Services” Partner, as well as a Founding Partner of the Olympic Channel.

The IOC President Bach, Alibaba Group Founder and Executive Chairman Jack Ma and Alibaba Group CEO Daniel Zhang attended the signing ceremony at Davos.

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.

“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.”

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’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.

Through this partnership, Alibaba’s contributions to the Olympic Movement will include:

  • best-in-class cloud computing infrastructure and cloud services to help the Olympic Games operate more efficiently, effectively and securely, including supporting big data analytics requirements;
  • the creation of a global e-commerce platform for Olympic stakeholders to engage and connect with fans seeking official Olympic licensed products manufactured by the Olympic parties’ official licensees, and selected sports products, on a worldwide basis;
  • leveraging Alibaba’s leading-edge digital media technologies and know-how to develop and customise the Olympic Channel for a Chinese audience.

Initiated by Shankai Sports, this historic sponsorship deal marks a milestone for China and has the potential to transform the global sports industry. Shankai Sports is led by Hong Li, formerly Chief Representative of the IOC to the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and Feng Tao (FT), who together worked in cooperation with Michael Payne, former Director of Marketing of the IOC, to create this opportunity for the IOC and Alibaba. “Shankai Sports was founded with the aim to connect the international sports world and China. This partnership not only brings together China’s most iconic company with the world’s most important sports organisation, but will also connect China’s digital revolution to the world of international sports. From that standpoint, it has the potential to be truly transformative.”, said Olivier Glauser, Co-Founder of Shankai Sports, who was intimately involved in the development of the initial idea and negotiation of the agreement of this partnership. Shankai Sports will continue to play a key role in this partnership in the course of the next 12 years.

About Shankai Sports

Shankai Sports was founded in 2009 to connect the international sports world and China. Shankai has been behind major deals that have allowed Chinese companies to showcase their brand to the world by using sport as a platform. For example, Shankai brought Hisense, a Chinese electronics giant, as a global sponsor to the UEFA EURO in France 2016, making it the first ever Chinese sponsor in the 56-year history of the tournament. Shankai played a key role in Wanda Group’s $1.2 billion acquisition of Swiss sports marketing company Infront Sports & Media in 2015. Shankai holds the digital broadcast rights in China to major international competitions, such as the UEFA EURO, and runs a significant outbound sports travel service as the official hospitality provider in China to large international events such as the FIFA World Cup. Shankai also operates tournaments and events in China on behalf of international rights holders and runs licensed merchandising programs.