Business / Companies

Wanda eyes more sports deals as it partners with badminton body

By Sun Xiaochen ( Updated: 2016-09-30 13:19

Chinese conglomerate Wanda Group's ambition of developing a sports-entertainment empire just got bigger as Chairman Wang Jianlin said on Friday that the company plans to sign two more deals with major international sports entities before the end of 2016.

Wang made the remarks while announcing Wanda's strategic partnership with Badminton World Federation (BWF), the sport's world governing body, in Beijing on Friday.

"As long as the time permits, Wanda will announce another one or two partnership agreements with major international sports federation before the year ends. We have been realizing our ambition to become the leading enterprise in global sports industry to bring more high-quality events to China while gaining economic returns," Wang said.

The partnership with BWF was Wanda's 10th signing of marketing and sponsorship agreements with global federations, including world soccer body FIFA, basketball body FIBA and International Triathlon Union.

"By joining hands with world sports federations, Wanda has taken a strategic highland in the upstream of sports sector with marketing resources and media rights of a series of elite-level events," he added.

The partnership with BWF, signed through Wanda's subsidiary Infront Sports & Media, will entitle the Chinese company exclusive media and sponsorship rights of BWF Major Events, including the Sudirman Cup (world mixed team championship), the World Championships and the Thomas and Uber Cup Finals (world men's and women's team championships), and BWF Series from 2018 to 2025.

The agreement marks the first time BWF has partnered with a single global partner for both media and commercial rights distribution. Infront will also support the federation with its television production operations, providing host broadcast and services at all BWF Major Events.

Poul-Erik Hoyer, the president of the BWF, hailed the deal as a landmark drive to carry badminton on a new momentum.

"We want to engage and excite our fans more and this union with Infront is a clear step in that direction. Their reputation precedes them and we look forward to Infront sprinking their sports-marketing stardust across the badminton landscape and helping our sport to reach new heights," he said.

With badminton already enjoying a mainstream popularity in China, Wang envisions that Infront could leverage the BWF resources through this partnership to involve more audience and participants, especially the youth, in badminton as a way of exercise and leisure activity.

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