International Centre for
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Mon. 16 January 2017

Seminar in China: the Sports Marketing in Asia

Hosted by the National Development School of Peking University (NDS), the International Centre for Sports Studies (CIES) and Dentsu Japan (Dentsu), the Asian Seminar of Sports Marketing was co-organized by Oceans Sports & Entertainment Inc. (Oceans) and Waseda University (Waseda) at Peking University on 23rd December 2016.

Prof. Munehiko Harada from Waseda University, Yoshihiro Oi, Director, Asia Dept., Sports Division Dentsu, Jiandong Yi, Dean of NDS Sports Business School, Shoto Zhu, Founder & CEO of Oceans, Yuqiang Zhang, Founder of Sports Money and various other sports marketing experts from China and Japan attended the seminar to discuss new trends for sports marketing in Asia, the potential of sports tourism in Asia, evolution of sports industry in China. The training and education of new talent in the sports industry was also discussed. The seminar welcomed nearly 300 attendees which included sports industry employees, university students, and representatives from the media.

Seizing the Opportunity: New Trends for Asian Sports Marketing

Pyeongchang 2018 (Winter Olympics), Tokyo 2020 (Summer Olympics) and Beijing 2022 (Winter Olympics). Within six years, these three upcoming Olympics will, undoubtedly, make Asia the centre of world sports for the next few years in the industry. As a result, to ensure Asia performs on the world stage, it must seize the opportunity.

Yoshihiro Oi, Director of Asia Dept. Sports Division of Dentsu, which is the leading sports marketing agency in Japan, shared his predictions with the seminar delegates. Speaking at the event he said, “Sports marketing has been highly influenced by globalization and digitalization. Football games in Japan, for example, utilize technology. China will introduce further technology next year. We can say the utilization of Artificial Intelligence is already a trend, and which can help in both strategy and tactics."

With the frequent hosting of international events, the sports tourism industry has seen booming opportunities in Asia too. Prof. Munehiko Harada, Waseda University said, "Sport is like an invisible horn of plenty, around which sports tourism develops rapidly. Sports Tourism makes €450 Billion Euros every year and has seen the fastest growth within the world tourism industry. Specifically in Asia, the middle class is blooming in developing countries, and we can see an annual growth of 2% - 3%. We can, therefore, foresee that in the near future, 10% of tourists in Asia will travel for sports related purposes. This arguably makes up a very promising market."

Importance of Sports IP to the Chinese Sports Industry

We are embracing a golden age for the sports industry, with stronger support from government policies, continuous industry evolution and an increasing number of international events held locally. Shoto Zhu, Founder & CEO of Oceans, shared his view on the evolution of the sports industry in China. He said, "I see Sports IP as the core of not only sports marketing, but also the wider sports industry. I like 'The Force Awakens' very much, and I have always believed that China's sports industry is equipped with two wings, one is investment, which indeed supports the business, and the other is the Internet, which covers both media and also technology. However, both of them are just the wings, we would go nowhere without the core: Sports IP”

The sports industry cannot grow without new talent. NDS of Peking University has always focused on talent education within the sports industry. Jiandong Yi, Dean of the NDS Sports Business School said, "What kind of talent do we need in China's sports industry? The answer is versatile talent. The talent we need must be expert in both sports and operations; know how to implement it, and also have good sportsmanship and mentality. To summarize, any new talent must have belief, knowledge, a strong educational background, a willingness to try and most importantly, passion."

With so many upcoming sports mega events in the region, competition within sports marketing is becoming fierce.  The Asian Seminar, therefore, was organized at an appropriate time, and helped to provide both a vision and new ways of thinking for current industry actors and also those who are interested in entering the sports market. Indeed, monetization is becoming more and more important for event operators and sports marketing plays a key role in this. Owning a top IP, therefore, is just the first step.

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