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FIBA joins forces with Wanda to raise global impact of basketball
A long-term strategic partnership to drive FIBA's marketing activities
MIES, Switzerland/BEIJING, China/ZUG, Switzerland - FIBA, the International Basketball Federation, and Wanda, through its subsidiary Infront Sports & Media, on Thursday announced a long-term business partnership.
For the period of four FIBA Basketball World Cup cycles up to 2033, Wanda will be FIBA's worldwide exclusive partner for the sale and marketing of the worldwide sponsorship and licensing rights with respect to the 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 Championships. The long-term partnership starts with immediate effect and takes an all-encompassing marketing approach. It involves comprehensive marketing initiatives and services in the area of branding, merchandising, event hospitality, on-site operations and marketing partner support.
The partnership will see the creation of FIBA Marketing, a cooperation between FIBA and Wanda's Infront team, which will be focused on supporting FIBA in further developing the awareness and value of national team basketball on a global basis, with an emphasis on China, utilising Wanda's vast network and infrastructure. FIBA will have an active involvement in respect of the main strategic and commercial activities of FIBA Marketing. Wanda has also committed very significant resources to the success of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 in China, benefiting FIBA's ambition to grow the popularity of this upcoming landmark event.
FIBA's new competition system, which comes into effect in November 2017, will herald a new era for basketball. Over a four-year cycle, more than 140 national teams will play regular home and away qualification games to guarantee their place at their Continental Cups and the FIBA Basketball World Cup, the pinnacle of national team 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 centralised 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 utilise our global network to drive FIBA’s vision for the sport in many of its core markets including China."
About Wanda Group
Dalian Wanda Group was founded in 1988 and is engaged in three key business activities - commercial properties, culture, and finance. In 2015, its assets amounted to $97.6 billion with revenue of $44.6 billion. Wanda is the world's largest real estate enterprise and the biggest five-star hotel owner in the world and the world's largest cinema operator. It is also the world's biggest sports company. Elsewhere, Wanda Cultural Industry Group is the largest cultural enterprise in China, the largest tourism company and the largest children’s entertainment company in China. By 2020, Wanda Group aims to become a world-class multinational corporation with assets of $200 billion, market capitalisation of $200 billion, revenue of $100 billion and net profits of $10 billion.
Wanda Sports Holding, a 100% subsidiary of Wanda Group, is the world’s leading sports business entity, founded to capture the opportunities in the global sports industry and to contribute to the prosperous international sports landscape – in three key areas: 1) Spectator Sports (media & marketing business), 2) Participation Sports (active lifestyle business), 3) Services (digital, production and service business). Led by President & CEO Philippe Blatter, Wanda Sports Holding incorporates the international sports marketing company Infront Sports & Media, the iconic endurance brand IRONMAN, and Wanda Sports China. The headquarters are in Guangzhou, China.
About Infront Sports & Media
Infront Sports & Media is the most respected sports marketing company in the world, managing a comprehensive portfolio of top properties. Led by President & CEO Philippe Blatter, Infront covers all aspects of successful sporting events - including distribution of media rights, sponsorship, media production and event operation - and has won a reputation for its high standards of delivery. As the number one player in winter sport and with a leading role in football, summer and endurance sports, Infront enjoys long-lasting partnerships with 170 rights-holders and hundreds of sponsors and media companies. Headquartered in Zug, Switzerland, Infront has a team of more than 900 experienced staff working from over 35 offices across more than 15 countries, delivering 4,100 event days of top class sport around the world every year. In November 2015, Infront was integrated into Wanda Sports Holding, part of the Chinese conglomerate the Dalian Wanda Group.
FIBA (fiba.com) - the world governing body for basketball - is an independent association formed by 215 National Basketball Federations throughout the world. It is recognised as the sole competent authority in basketball by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
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