The growth of China in terms of its influence on the global sports business is no secret. Be it investors from China acquiring and investing in sports properties across Europe, international leagues and teams looking to tap into the country’s enormous population to engage a new wave of fans, the buying and selling of key broadcast rights, or China’s strategic acquisition of major international sports events, the world of sport has well and truly woken up to the possibilities the market offers.
The world is looking to China, and China, increasingly, is looking to the world. This report examines how the country is making its mark on global sport, with a particular focus on the world’s most popular sport, football. It includes sections dedicated to the Chinese consumer, the country’s rapidly evolving media landscape, the major investments from China across European football and the ways in which sports teams and leagues around the world are developing strategies to tackle the Chinese market.
Football accounts for three of the top five most popular sports events in China, with the FIFA World Cup and National Basketball Association heading the list. Table tennis’ world championship is the only other non-football event to make the top five.