AIBA has signed an exclusive global marketing agreement with Alisports, the subsidiary of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group. The strategic partnership follows the signing of an MOU in 2016 agreeing to the development and promotion of boxing around the world, and includes significant investment into AIBA competitions, media and digital platforms, as well as the creation of an AIBA internet TV channel.
“From our very first conversations to the signing of this important deal for the future of boxing, AIBA has welcomed Alisports’ valued input and we are pleased to be partnering with a company that shares our vision for the sport and is such a significant player in the world of e-commerce. The Alibaba Group’s reach and track record speaks for itself, and this agreement, alongside their recent sponsorship deal with the International Olympic Committee, displays their deep commitment to investing in sports around of the world. AIBA has made significant strides in all areas in recent months and the commercial partnership strategy we are currently growing and consolidating is an essential aspect of our global approach for the next Olympic cycle” said AIBA President Dr Ching-Kuo Wu.
The deal will harness Alisports’ enormous capacity for increasing the digital and social engagement of AIBA events, developing and marketing the AIBA assets including WSB competitions and realising its e-commerce potential. The agreement includes contributions in TV and Digital global rights and new merchandising concepts. At the same time, with the significant experience on e-sports and sports training, Alisports will develop and operate boxing e-sports and Fitness Boxing for AIBA.
We want to invest in sports and in sportsmanship and values that go with it, we want to make Alisports set a good example to young people and to other companies that when you make money, you invest for the future, invest in young people and invest in their health and happiness” explained Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba group, during his visit to Lausanne in 2016.
“Alisports is honoured and excited to partner with AIBA, a dynamic and forward-thinking International Federation with whom we share a passion for innovation and an unswerving belief in the power of sport. We will be bringing our expertise to promote boxing around the world, and look forward to taking the prestigious AIBA brand and its biggest boxing tournaments to the next level in terms of their exposure and marketability,” said Alisports Founder and CEO Mr. Dazhong Zhang.
The agreement takes effect from 1 January 2018, with World Series of Boxing Season VIII among the first events to feel the impact of the investment, paving the way for more growth of the unique team tournament. As well as giving AIBA and its 201 affiliated National Federations further opportunities to develop this and other sustainable career pathways for its boxers and the #AIBAFamily at large, the benefit will also be felt among boxing fans, with new levels of engagement and original channels bringing them even closer to the action.