Business· Markets

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games postponed deactivated Alibaba's RMB 5 bln global branding

minutes 2020/03/25 07:18:58
Alibaba, Tokyo 2020 Olympic, Jack Ma, Olympic Games

Mar 25, 2020 (China Knowledge) - Alibaba's sponsorship for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics has hit the pause button due to the global outbreak of COVID-19.

On Mar 24, after Canada and Australia refused to participate in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced that it will make its assessment of the impact of COVID-19 on the Tokyo Olympic in the next four weeks and to make a decision, including the possibility of postponing the Olympic. According to the latest news, the IOC has postponed the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games for one year until next summer.

In fact, no matter whether the Tokyo Olympic Games is going to be held as scheduled, the games have already suffered a serious impact from the outbreak. The host city, sponsors, broadcasters and partners will face huge losses, according to Japan's Dai-Ichi Life Research Institute’s forecast, and the economic cost of postponing the games could exceed JPY 3.2 trln (RMB 206.6 bln).

As one of the top sponsors of the IOC, it is reported that the sponsorship fee paid by Alibaba will be no less than USD 800 mln, equivalent to about RMB 5 bln.

In Jan 2017, Alibaba’s Jack Ma and the IOC’s President Thomas Bach jointly announced a total investment of no less than USD 800 mln, Alibaba had beaten Amazon in sponsoring cloud computing and e-commerce platform services and joined the list of top partners for the Olympic Games. The sponsorship period is expected to last 10 years, covering the three winter and summer Olympic Games from 2018 to 2028, making it the longest agreement for the one-time cooperation in the history of the Olympic Games.

Since Alibaba becoming the top sponsor of the Olympic Games, it has greatly benefited the company in enhancing its international brand publicity and strengthen international cooperation.

Both Jack Ma and Alibaba’s CEO Zhang Yong have said the sponsorship for the Olympic Games is the best way to help Alibaba towards globalization. "This is part of global strategy and a step toward Alibaba’s goal of serving 2 billion consumers," Zhang said. “Sport is at the heart of our long-term 'health and happiness' strategy, and becoming a partner in the evolution of the Olympic movement will strengthen its brand globally."

Samsung is a well-known success story. After joining the IOC's top sponsor list in 1997, Samsung not only well-known in South Korea but also became one of the world's top consumer electronics brands. But now, with the postponing of the Tokyo Olympics, many of Alibaba's established strategies may also be carried forward.

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