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European Tour announces exclusive digital broadcast deal with China’s Sina Sports

POSTED ON February 14, 2019 @ 8:22 am
The European Tour has secured a long-term partnership with Sina Sports for the exclusive digital broadcast rights to all European Tour events.

The agreement will see Sina Sports live-streaming all European Tour tournaments exclusively on all Sina Sports platforms effective immediately until the end of the 2021 season. The European Tour features two of the most exciting Chinese golfers, Li Haotong, the first Chinese golfer to be ranked in the top 50 world ranking, and three time European Tour winner Wu Ashun.

In addition, as part of the partnership, Sina Sports’ newly-created in-house digital media agency will manage the European Tour’s official social media assets in China, including its Weibo and WeChat accounts, for the duration of the live-streaming deal.

Sina Sports recently launched an in-house digital media agency to serve rights holders, teams, and athletes, having recently announced an exclusive Weibo operation and commercial deal in football with Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) superstar Edinson Cavani.

With over 20 years of operational experience, Sina Sports is the largest content creator on Weibo with over 100 million followers on their 80 Weibo accounts. The in-house agency will provide multi-faceted digital media services for athletes, federations and clubs as well as to seek marketing and sponsorship opportunities with Chinese companies.

Sina Sports began exclusive live broadcasts of the European Tour in early November, with the Turkish Airlines Open reaching 210,000 views on Sina Golf’s Weibo account alone.

At the event, Chinese golfer Li Haotong came close to winning his third European Tour title, finishing in second place behind World Number One Justin Rose.

The 23 year old Li, along with Wu Ashun, are part of a wave of highly-regarded Chinese golfers establishing themselves on the global stage – a factor in the partnership between Sina Sports and the European Tour.

In 2018, Li held off Rory McIlroy to win the Omega Dubai Desert Classic by a single stroke, while Wu won his third European Tour title at the KLM Open in The Netherlands.

Sina Corporation Senior Vice President and Sina Sports General Manager Arthur Wei said: “With the growing presence of Chinese golfers and optimal viewing time, the European Tour is positioned to become a very popular sports property for Chinese fans and we are excited to partner with the European Tour for the next three-plus years.

“The possibility of large numbers of fans in China rooting for Chinese players regularly competing for titles at convenient viewing times is intriguing.”

Rufus Hack, Chief Content Officer at the European Tour, said: “The European Tour is delighted to agree this new partnership with Sina Sports, which will give golf fans across China access to every event on the European Tour as well as great additional content in their own language on WeChat and Weibo.

“With exciting Chinese players like Li Haotong and Wu Ashun continuing to make an impression on the Race to Dubai, we’re looking forward to working with a progressive media partner like Sina Sports to help continue the growth of the European Tour across the region.”

This partnership reinforces Sina Golf’s position as the authoritative source for golf news, information, and content in China. Over the last twenty years, Sina Golf has established a reputation for providing the most professional and comprehensive Chinese golf coverage available, created and managed by the most experienced team of golf reporters and editors in China.

With its experience and expertise, Sina Golf is second to none when it comes to reaching China’s golf community. Sina Golf is the most followed golf-related account on Weibo with over 1.3 million followers.

Weibo is the most active social platform among sports fans, as well as the most effective promotional tool for sports in China. With over 431 million monthly users and 190 million daily active users, Weibo is China’s best social media platform for exposure for brands.

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