Pac-12 set to host first of its kind men's basketball game in China

Pac-12 Set to Host First Of Its Kind Men’s Basketball Game in China
Federation of University Sports of China Serves as Co-Host for Game on Nov. 14 at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai

SAN FRANCISCOThe Pac-12 Conference announced today that the inaugural Pac-12 China Game featuring the Washington Huskies and Texas Longhorns will be played Nov. 14 at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai. Longtime Pac-12 partner Federation of University Sports of China (FUSC), which operates under China’s Ministry of Education, will serve as the co-host for the game.

This event is a major milestone in the Pac-12’s Globalization Initiative, an unprecedented effort to showcase the Conference and its member institutions in China, and to promote goodwill and transformative life experiences through student-athlete exchanges and sport. With this game, the Pac-12 will become the first U.S. sports league – collegiate or professional – to host a regular season contest in China.

“We are thrilled to bring this first regular season game to China,” said Pac-12 Commissioner Scott. “This event is a great step forward for our initiative as we continue to extend our member universities’ relations in China and promote goodwill between our countries. The FUSC has been instrumental in our success in China to date and we appreciate their ongoing support and collaboration.”

The FUSC is China’s national solely authorized organization for university sports and operates under the Ministry of Education. Since 2011, the Pac-12 and FUSC have worked together to put on exhibition games featuring Pac-12 men’s and women’s basketball teams, as well as coaching clinics and educational symposiums on collegiate sports.

“It is our great pleasure and honor to work together as the co-host of inaugural Pac-12 China Game,” expressed by Mr. Yang Liguo, FUSC Executive Vice President & Secretary-General. “With the organization of this event, we are confident that it will open a new chapter for future collaboration between FUSC and Pac-12, and also inject new vitality to relationships between the countries. 

The game will be played at 11 a.m. local Shanghai time and broadcast live in the United States on ESPN on Nov. 13 at 7:00 p.m. PT / 10:00 p.m. ET.  The game will be live streamed on several digital platforms in China including the FUSC’s JingSports.

The China Game will feature a variety of off-court, educational and cultural activities for the university delegations that the Pac-12 is working with its Chinese partners to organize. Notably, an academic delegation of 13 members from Pac-12 institutions will participate in three educational expositions in Shanghai, Nantong, and Suzhou to introduce Pac-12 universities to Chinese students and families and provide information about educational opportunities.  There will also be meetings with education and government leaders in China with a focus on cooperative programs in student and faculty exchange, research and online education. 

Also as part of the event, the student-athletes will also have the opportunity to experience Chinese culture and visit historic landmarks.

“This is a great example of college sports providing transformative educational and cultural experiences for student-athletes,” said Commissioner Scott. “In addition to the valuable experience for the students, this type of cultural exchange has the power to create more goodwill and mutual understanding between the United States and China.”

“Just like in the realm of the steadily growing business and economic ties between our two great countries, ‎competition and cooperation in athletics as well can serve as valuable mechanisms for deepening our bilateral engagement with one another and strengthening the bonds of friendship among all segments of our respective societies,” concluded Scott.

About the Pac-12 Conference:
The Conference has a tradition as the “Conference of Champions,” leading the nation in NCAA Championships in 48 of the last 54 years, with 474 NCAA team titles overall. The Conference comprises 12 leading U.S. universities: The University of Arizona, Arizona State University, the University of California-Berkeley, the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), the University of Colorado, the University of Oregon, Oregon State University, Stanford University, the University of Southern California, the University of Utah, the University of Washington and Washington State University.  For more information on the Conference’s programs, member institutions, and Commissioner Larry Scott, go to www.pac-12.com/conference.

About the FUSC: 
Headquartered in Beijing under China’s Ministry of Education and established in 1975, the Federation of University Sports of China (FUSC) is the solely authorized national organization for university sports. The main roles of the FUSC are as follows:
•    To popularize national education and sports policy among college students and seek support to the university sports;
•    To organize all kinds of national collegiate sports event and promote exchanges with university sports associations all over the world;
•    To assist participating in international collegiate sports event and sports exchanges.

About the Pac-12 Globalization Initiative:
Founded in 2011, the Pac-12 Globalization Initiative is an unprecedented effort in China to proactively promote the Conference and its member institutions through student-athlete exchanges and sport. The Initiative uses the shared passion of athletics to support the ambitious international strategies that many of our universities have embarked on to extend their reach into China.  

The Pac-12 has established a key partnership with the Federation of University Sports of China (FUSC) for the Initiative.  The Pac-12 and FUSC share a strong mutual interest to promote intercollegiate sports, educational collaboration, and cultural exchange between China and the United States.  In August 2012, the Pac-12 and FUSC signed a Memorandum of Understanding to seek cooperative opportunities in areas including sports competitions and cultural exchange, exchange programs, and media collaboration.  This MOU was signed during the 2012 China-U.S. University Sports Week, a first-of-its-kind event arranged by the Pac-12 and FUSC that featured the UCLA Men’s Basketball team China tour.

Since the inaugural event, the Pac-12 has collaborated with the FUSC on several activities, including and the 2013 China-U.S. University Sports Week, which included basketball coaches’ clinics in Shanghai, an Arizona State University Men’s Basketball China tour, and a University of California – Berkeley Women’s Basketball China tour.  In the U.S., the Pac-12 has hosted three U.S.-China Symposiums on Collegiate Sports Development at the 2013, 2014 and 2015 Pac-12 Basketball Tournaments.

In 2014, the Pac-12 sent a women’s volleyball all-star team and a men’s basketball all-star team to China for competition against university and professional teams. In addition, the Pac-12 sent five academic delegates from Pac-12 institutions to conduct meetings, events, and media opportunities that support the goals of exploring academic collaboration as well as cultural exchange between Pac-12 schools and Chinese universities and governmental organizations.

This past season, the Pac-12 became the first Conference to stream men’s basketball games in China. Twenty-seven Pac-12 games were streamed on PCs, tablets, mobile devices, and OTT devices.

About Mercedes-Benz Arena:
Mercedes-Benz Arena is Shanghai’s premier live entertainment, culture, sports and lifestyle venue. The six-level complex seats up to 18,000 with state-of-the-art acoustics and production technology for staging of the biggest indoor shows in China. It incorporates a public ice skating rink, a cinema with six screens, and 20,000 square meter retail podium of concept shops and wide variety of food & beverage outlets.