Business / Companies

FIBA joins Wanda to spread basketball's reach

By Hu Yuanyuan ( Updated: 2016-06-16 13:47

FIBA joins Wanda to spread basketball's reach

Wang Jianllin speaks during a financial forum in Hong Kong, China, Jan 18, 2016. [Photo/IC]

FIBA, the International Basketball Federation, and Wanda, through its subsidiary Infront Sports & Media, announced today a long-term business partnership.

Over four FIBA Basketball World Cup cycles, up to 2033, Wanda will be FIBA's worldwide exclusive partner for the sale and marketing of global sponsorship and licensing rights. It will involve FIBA Basketball World Cups and their Qualifiers, the Men's and Women's Continental Cups and their Qualifiers, as well as the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cups and Youth World Championship.

The long-term partnership starts immediately and takes an all-encompassing marketing approach. It involves comprehensive marketing initiatives and services in branding, merchandising, event hospitality, on-site operations and marketing partner support.

The partnership will lead to the creation of FIBA Marketing, a cooperation between FIBA and Wanda's Infront team, which will support FIBA to further develop the awareness and value of national team basketball on a global basis, with an emphasis on China, utilizing Wanda's vast network and infrastructure. FIBA will have an active involvement in FIBA Marketing's main strategic and commercial activities.

Wanda has also committed significant resources to the success of the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup in China, benefitting FIBA's goal to garner interest in upcoming landmark event.

FIBA's new competition system, which comes into effect in November 2017, will herald a new era for basketball.

Basketball is a key sport in Wanda's portfolio, with Infront's first partnership dating back to 2005. The company's track record includes the all-encompassing media and marketing mandate for the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) – dedicated to the CBA League and to China's men's and women's national teams. Furthermore, Infront is the exclusive global marketing and media partner for both the men's and women's Turkish national teams, as well as for Turkey's Spor Toto Basketball Super League, where they have successfully implemented a new centralized marketing concept. Additionally, collaboration with the German Basketball Bundesliga has recently been initiated.

Patrick Baumann, FIBA Secretary General and International Olympic Committee (IOC) member, said: "This strategic partnership is of significant importance to FIBA. It is another tangible result of FIBA's ambitions to accelerate the growth by unlocking the true potential of national team basketball, bringing the game to a new level globally and tapping into emerging markets in Asia, Americas and Africa. With our new event schedule and an eagerly anticipated FIBA Basketball World Cup in China coming up, it is the right time to initiate a long-term strategic collaboration with a partner that shares our vision for basketball and is ready to make significant efforts to see it through. It confirms the strong commitment of Wanda to basketball and to support FIBA's objective of making basketball the most popular sports community not only in China but also worldwide."

Wang Jianlin, Chairman of the Wanda Group, said: "The strategic partnership with FIBA is another major development that Wanda has made in the sports industry. Wanda will fully leverage its own influence, as well as Infront's expertise, to raise basketball globally—and in China—to new heights."

Philippe Blatter, President & CEO of Wanda Sports Holding, said: "Basketball has become a key sport within our portfolio, and is today part of our DNA. Therefore, it makes us both proud and excited that FIBA has chosen our international team to enter into a new era of basketball."

"Together with FIBA, we will be able to develop a stronger global marketing platform, introduce new brands and strengthen the impact for existing sponsors, thereby raising the global awareness of the sport. This is particularly promising, as basketball continues to grow and is among the few sports that are highly popular in most leading economies – from the US to Europe to Asia. We are confident that together with our shareholder Wanda Group, we can add significant know how and utilize our global network to drive FIBA's vision for the sport in many of its core markets including China."

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