Business / Companies

Philippe Blatter to lead China's Wanda Sport

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-11-27 16:04

BEIJING - Philippe Blatter has been appointed head of sports businesses of Chinese property and entertainment conglomerate Dalian Wanda.

Blatter will act as CEO of Wanda Sports, which has been formed together by sports marketing company Infront Sports & Media and World Triathlon Corporation (WTC), Wanda said in a statement on Wednesday.

"The significance of establishing Wanda Sports is not only to integrate Wanda's interests in sports, but also to truly expand and strengthen Wanda's businesses in the industry," said Wang Jianlin, chairman of Wanda Group.

"We want to truly impact the development of sport around the world," he added.

Wanda Sports will be based on three core business pillars, including Spectator Sports (Media & Marketing business), Participation Sports (Active Lifestyle business) and Services (Production, Digital & Service business), according to a statement on Infront's website.

"All valued partners and clients as well as millions of sports enthusiasts worldwide will benefit. The new structure will provide continuity and stability, a much enhanced service offering and strengthened resources in event development and delivery," said Blatter.

Wanda group, formerly a Chinese top real estate company, has been looking to increase its influence in the global sports business.

Earlier this year Dalian spent more than a billion euros on Swiss sports marketing group Infront -- which holds some broadcasting rights to the football World Cup -- and took a 20 percent stake in Spanish football club Atletico Madrid. It also bought the company that owns the Ironman triathlon brand and race series.

Apart from Wanda, China has witnessed a huge influx of private investment into the sports sector since last year.

In September, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba set up a new company to focus on professional sports, one of its latest move after the online Titan invested 1.2 billion yuan ($192 million) to buy 50 percent stake of Guangzhou Evergrande, China's most successful soccer club.

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