Pac-12 extends agreement with Alibaba Group to support basketball game in China
PAC-12 EXTENDS AGREEMENT WITH ALIBABA GROUP TO SUPPORT BASKETBALL GAME IN CHINA
Two-year extension includes educational component with Alibaba and sponsorship, ticketing, and marketing support from Alisports
SAN FRANCISCO – The Pac-12 Conference and Alibaba Group Holding Limited (NYSE: BABA), the world’s largest online and mobile commerce company, announced today a two-year extension to their partnership to support the annual Pac-12 China Game in Shanghai.
The Pac-12 China Game is regular season U.S. collegiate men’s basketball game played annually in Shanghai. The game has become the flagship event of Pac-12 Global, an initiative that promotes goodwill and showcases the Conference and its member institutions in China and around the world through student-athlete exchanges and sport.
Longtime Pac-12 partner Federation of University Sports of China (FUSC), which operates under China’s Ministry of Education, will continue to serve as the co-host for the game. The FUSC is China’s national solely authorized organization for university sports. 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.
The centerpiece of Pac-12 Global is its focus on educational programming for student-athletes. In addition to being the presenting sponsor of the Pac-12 China Game, Alibaba Group hosts the two participating teams at its headquarters in Hangzhou for high-level meetings with company leadership and an academic symposium on Chinese culture, business, and the future of ecommerce. This experience is a once in a lifetime chance for student-athletes to engage directly with young people and senior executives in perhaps the world’s most important and exciting growth market in China.
“Extending our partnership with the Pac-12 continues Alibaba’s commitment to bring the best of the world to China and teach the world about China,” said Joe Tsai, Executive Vice Chairman of Alibaba Group. “This is a terrific opportunity to offer an outstanding hands-on education to student-athletes about the future of ecommerce, global trade, and Chinese culture.”
“We are thrilled to extend our partnership with Alibaba Group around the Pac-12 China Game,” said Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott. “Alibaba has proven to be a tremendous partner as we’ve grown our activities in China, and we look forward to even more collaboration as we continue to provide our student-athletes with valuable educational and cultural experiences.”
A final element of the partnership is support for the game from Alisports Group in the areas of sponsorship, ticketing, advertising, and marketing, as well as broadcast production and distribution rights in mainland China and the immediate region. Alisports was founded in 2015 with a vision to work with all elements of the Chinese sports industry and will play a bigger role in the Pac-12 China Game going forward.
“Alisports is honored to participate in the extended partnership with the Pac-12. Working with this leading collegiate organization underscores our mission of making sports accessible and inclusive to everyone,” said Zhang Dazhong, CEO of Alisports.
Alibaba Group was the presenting sponsor of the inaugural Pac-12 China Game in 2015 and helped the Pac-12 become the first U.S. sports league, collegiate or professional, to host a regular season contest in China. The original partnership was for the 2015 and 2016 games, and today’s extension supports the 2017 and 2018 Pac-12 China Games between schools to be announced at a later date.
The Pac-12 China Game is played at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai and tips off the Pac-12 men’s basketball season. This year’s game between Stanford and Harvard will be played on Saturday, Nov. 12 at Noon local Shanghai time and broadcast live in the United States on ESPN2 on Nov. 11 at 8 p.m. PT / 11 p.m. ET. Alibaba Group will distribute the game live via Alibaba’s mobile and digital distribution platforms.
About the Pac-12 Conference:
Recognized as the 'Conference of Champions' for its unequaled NCAA Championships, the Pac-12 Conference comprises the 12 leading universities located in the Western United States: 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 Pac-12 Global:
Founded in 2011, Pac-12 Global is an unprecedented effort to proactively promote the Conference and its member institutions globally 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 around the world. For more information on the initiative and its history, go to www.pac-12.com/global.
About Alibaba Group:
Alibaba Group’s mission is to make it easy to do business anywhere. The company is the largest online and mobile commerce company in the world in terms of gross merchandise volume. Founded in 1999, the company provides the fundamental technology infrastructure and marketing reach to help businesses leverage the power of the Internet to establish an online presence and conduct commerce with hundreds of millions of consumers and other businesses.
About Alisports Group:
On September 8th, 2015, Alibaba Sports Group was established by Alibaba Group, together with Sina Corporation, and Yunfeng Capital in Shanghai. Based on the ecosystem of Alibaba, Alisports aims to boost the sports industry as a whole and benefit more partners and consumers. Starting with IP, Alisports aims to integrate different operations, to properly allocate resources, and to stimulate social media interaction to enhance marketing impacts. The company also intends to improve the sports industry by creating a base platform of China’s sports economy through big-data.
FUSC, standing for Federation of University Sport of China and founded in 1975, is a member of All-China Sports Federation (ACSF), Asian University Sports Federation (AUSF) and International University Sports Federation (FISU). FUSF is the sole legal and authorized organization to organize nation-wide university sport championships and games in China. Under the leadership of Ministry of Education, FUSC has developed 33 branch federations based on the sport events, namely, football, basketball, volleyball, track and field, bridge, etc. Each year, more than 50 championships are held by FUSC.