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IOC and Alibaba Group launch historic long-term partnership

IOC and Alibaba Group launch historic long-term partnership
January 21, 2017

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Alibaba Group have jointly announced a long-term partnership that will see the e-commerce giant join the IOC’s Olympic Partner worldwide sponsorship program.

Announced at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, earlier this week, the partnership will see Alibaba will become the IOC’s official ‘Cloud Services’ and ‘E-Commerce Platform Services’ Partner, as well as a founding partner of the Olympic Channel.

The partnership, which will last until 2028, was announced by IOC President, Thomas Bach along with Alibaba Group founder and Executive Chairman, Jack Ma and Alibaba Group Chief Executive, Daniel Zhang.

Making the announcement, Bach stated “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.

“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.”

Ma added “Alibaba’s partnership with the IOC is built on a foundation of shared values and a common vision for connecting the world and enriching people’s lives. We are proud to support Olympic Agenda 2020, using our innovations and technologies to help evolve the Olympic Games for the digital era.”

Through this partnership, Alibaba’s contributions to the Olympic Movement will include:

• Best-in-class cloud computing infrastructure and cloud services to help the Olympic Games operate more efficiently, effectively and securely, including supporting big data analytics requirements
• The creation of a global e-commerce platform for Olympic stakeholders to engage and connect with fans seeking official Olympic licensed products manufactured by the Olympic parties’ official licensees, and selected sports products, on a worldwide basis
• Leveraging Alibaba’s leading digital media technologies and know-how to develop and customise the Olympic Channel for a Chinese audience 

Commenting on the potential of the partnership, Zhang explained “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 2 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.

IOC Marketing Commission Chair, Tsunekazu Takeda concluded “we are delighted to be working in the long term with Alibaba for the benefit of the Olympic Movement. This strategic partnership underlines the global appeal of the Olympic values and opens an exciting new chapter in this digital age.”

Alibaba is the first company to make a long-term commitment to the IOC through 2028 and the first Chinese company to commit to the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.

Alibaba will support the organisers of each edition of the Olympic Games, and the Olympic Movement around the world. These rights will include advertising and promotional use of Olympic marks and imagery from the Olympic Games, as well as marks from the National Olympic Committees.

Alibaba’s global activation rights will include the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 and the Olympic and Olympic Winter Games in 2024, 2026 and 2028 in cities yet to be selected by the IOC.

Image: Jack Ma with Thomas Bach at the World Economic Forum. Courtesy of World Economic Forum/Greg Beadle 

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