Le Sports and AC Milan announce strategic partnership
Milan, Italy – Le Sports becomes Official New Media Partner of AC Milan in mainland China. The wide-ranging partnership between the Internet-based eco-sports company and the Italian football club will span three consecutive seasons from 2015/16 to 2017/18 and was finalised by Infront Sports & Media, marketing partner of AC Milan.
A highlight of the strategic partnership is the exclusive live streaming of the official AC Milan club channel content in mainland China for the first time. Le Sports has further been granted various advertising and promotional rights as the “Official Partner” and the “Official New Media Partner” of AC Milan in China.
Barbara Berlusconi, CEO of AC Milan commented: “This new sponsorship agreement is an important achievement for AC Milan. We are bringing the history and prestige of our club to China and Le Sports will promote and enhance the experience of our content through their highly technological platform. The partnership will further reinforce a commercial relationship with a country in which AC Milan holds the highest number of fans and enjoys greater digital growth than any of the other major European clubs. For us, China is a primary objective - all our efforts are focused on enhancing our presence in the area.”
Mr. Lei Zhenjian, CEO of Le Sports, said: “We are honoured to announce this great partnership with AC Milan, a great football club that has many supporters in China. As is well known, Le Sports is also the exclusive new media broadcaster of Serie A in mainland China. We believe such a partnership with AC Milan will even further promote the popularity and the influence of the club, as well as the Serie A, in China.”
Marco Bogarelli, President of Infront Italy, added: “This partnership demonstrates how football is increasingly gaining importance in the Chinese market and how valuable brands - such as AC Milan - can give visibility and recognition to media companies. Infront, as a leader in the world of sponsorship and through a strong presence in the Chinese market, allows synergies between Chinese and global brands in order to go beyond individual market borders and to create greater visibility and global brand awareness.”
The partnership with AC Milan is the latest significant achievement by Le Sports and adds to other exclusive media rights agreements, including Wimbledon from 2016-2018, the English Premier League in Hong Kong from 2016-2019, as well as the five-year global partnership with ATP.
About Le Sports
Le Sports is China’s leading Internet-based eco-sports company known for its unique business model spanning event operation, content platform, smart devices, and value-added service. With its motto of “Your Participation, Our Goal”, Le Sports strives to create a sports system that covers the whole industrial chain, integrates sports resources from around the world, enhances the integration of technologies into sports and promotes an overall upgrade of the sports industry. In March 2014, Le Sports was officially established into an eco-sports company covering the entire industrial chain. Le Sports completed its Series A funding in May 2015 by raising RMB 800 million, boosting the company’s valuation to RMB 2.8 billion. Series B funding was initiated in September 2015.
With its comprehensive content platform, Le Sports now hold media rights over 200 sports events covering 10,000 matches. With its abundant sports rights, Le Sports is now known as the biggest sports media empire in the industry. Le Sports launched its first smart device, the Super Bike, in August 2015, with many more products already in the research and development stage. The company continues to offer a variety of services, including O2O training, gaming, e-commerce, ticketing and more. As an event organizer, Le Sports introduced the International Champions Cup (ICC) into China, oversaw the operation and promotion of the Women’s Super League and mass participating events including several marathon and road running scheme.
About Infront Sports & Media
Infront Sports & Media is the most respected sports marketing company in the world, managing a comprehensive portfolio of top properties. Led by President & CEO Philippe Blatter, Infront covers all aspects of successful sporting events – including distribution of media rights, sponsorship, media production and event operation – and has won a reputation for its high standards of delivery. As the number one player in winter sport and with a leading role in football, summer and endurance sports, Infront enjoys long-lasting partnerships with 170 rights-holders and hundreds of sponsors and media companies. Headquartered in Zug, Switzerland, Infront has a team of more than 900 experienced staff working from over 35 offices across more than 15 countries, delivering 4,100 event days of top class sport around the world every year. In November 2015, Infront was integrated into Wanda Sports Holding, part of the Chinese conglomerate the Dalian Wanda Group.