China Developer Nets FIBA Deal

Jun 29, 2016

China’s largest private developer, the Wanda Group, has teamed up with FIBA in a multimillion-dollar marketing deal as it expands its global presence in sports, according to the Associated Press.

Wanda subsidiary Infront Sports & Media will exclusively sell and market FIBA’s global sponsorship and licensing rights for its Basketball World Cup events until 2033. The alliance also will seek to develop China’s national team and the grassroots game in the country, which is hosting the 2019 Basketball World Cup.

China President Xi Jinping has prioritized developing its national teams and sees the global sports industry as a platform to showcase the country’s expanding international influence, according to the Associated Press.

Sports is one of several areas of expansion for Wanda, which also has purchased a film studio and a cinema chain in Hollywood. Last year, it also bought a 20% stake in Spanish soccer club Atletico Madrid for 45 million euros, and the company that owns the Ironman triathlon brand and race series for $650 million. Wanda also is a major sponsor of the FIFA World Cup. — J.L.