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Alibaba becomes major Olympics partner

News, 23 January 2017
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DAVOS/ HANGZHOU: Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant, is joining an elite group of corporate sponsors of the Olympic Games after signing a partnership with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that will last until at least 2028.

The two organisations announced the deal last week at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, confirming that Alibaba will become the IOC's official partner for e-commerce and cloud services.

The company also will be a partner in the Olympic Channel, a new digital TV service intended to promote the games to younger sports fans, and Alibaba said it would use its knowledge of digital media to help customise the channel for Chinese audiences.

Although no financial details were disclosed, it was confirmed that Alibaba's global activation rights will include six Olympic Games over the next 11 years.

These cover the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, and the summer and winter Olympic Games in 2024, 2026 and 2028 in cities the IOC has yet to select.

Alibaba has further secured rights that include advertising and the promotional use of Olympic marks and imagery from the Olympic Games as well as marks from the National Olympic Committees.

"In this new digital world, Alibaba is uniquely positioned to help the IOC achieve a variety of key objectives outlined in Olympic Agenda 2020, while positively shaping the future of the Olympic Movement," said Thomas Bach, President of the IOC.

"This is a ground-breaking, innovative alliance, and will help drive efficiencies in the organisation of the Olympic Games through 2028, whilst also supporting the global development of digital opportunities including the Olympic Channel."

Also commenting on the deal, Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang, said: "Alibaba is proud to empower the International Olympic Committee in a game-changing digital transformation, while moving another step closer toward our goal to serve two billion consumers.

"We will leverage our experience in serving a young user base to help connect more young people to the Olympic Movement, helping to strengthen our brand through this historic partnership."

Data sourced from IOC, Alibaba; additional content by Warc staff

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