Chinese online giant Alibaba continues to expand its global footprint, inking a deal yesterday to become a major sponsor for the Olympics until 2028.
In becoming a top sponsor, Alibaba joins an elite group of 12 other international companies such as McDonalds, Panasonic, Visa and Coca-Cola. The privilege will cost them around $800 million over the 12-year span, a source familiar with the deal told Bloomberg.
Alibaba will be tasked with creating a new global e-commerce platform for the Olympics, developing a new Olympic television channel for Chinese viewers and using its cloud platform to to operate the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) digital presence “more efficiently and securely,” according to a press release.
Timo Lumme, head of the IOC’s TV and marketing division expanded more upon that first task in an interview with Yahoo Finance, stating: “A globally accessible e-commerce platform, which means that somebody in San Francisco can buy Tokyo merchandise, or somebody in Shanghai can buy Team USA merchandise. Alibaba’s going to help us reach those 700 million-plus online consumers in China who are wanting to be able to experience Olympic content on a day-in, day-out fashion.”
The sponsorship deal — which is the longest signed by any Chinese company — will of course include the highly-anticipated 2022 Beijing Winter Games, not to mention the 2018 winter Olympics in nearby South Korea’s Pyeongchang and the 2020 summer Olympics in Tokyo.
Specifically, Alibaba will use its cloud platform to run the IOC’s digital presence “more efficiently and securely,” according to a press release; it will create a new global e-commerce platform for the Olympics; and it will help develop the IOC build its new Olympic television channel for a Chinese audience.
Despite its incredible success inside China — doing $17.8 billion in sales in one day last November — Alibaba isn’t satisfied, searching for opportunities to invest abroad and expand its services to consumers in other countries.
Earlier this month, Alibaba founder and CEO Jack Ma met with US President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in New York, vowing to create 1 million new American jobs in the next 5 years.
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