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International Basketball Federation Signs Sponsorship Deal with Chinese Internet Giant

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Group D of the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup was held at Gran Canaria Arena in the Canary Islands. By El Coleccionista de Instantes - https://www.flickr.com/photos/azuaje/14037154898, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=33410345

The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) has signed a 9-year sponsorship deal with the Chinese Internet giant Tencent Inc., according to which the Chinese group will have the status of FIBA Partner and Global Partner at all of FIBA’s major national team competitions for men and women at senior and youth levels.

The agreement includes FIBA Basketball World Cups, FIBA Continental Cups, FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments, FIBA U19 and U17 World Championships and FIBA Basketball World Cup Qualifiers. Tencent and its associated brands will receive significant brand visibility at FIBA competitions on and off the court, and will be able to promote extensively its products and services to the global basketball community across all FIBA channels.

Said Patrick Baumann, FIBA Secretary General and IOC Member: “Following the media partnership with Tencent, FIBA is extremely pleased to announce this important sponsorship agreement which will further cement the relationship between our two organisations. China is already today one of the most important countries for FIBA and basketball and has a lot of heritage with over 600,000 basketball courts across the country. We aim to build on the enormous passion for the sport in this territory in our quest to make basketball the most popular sport in every corner of the world. With such a partner as Tencent, we can bring basketball to every household in China not only on the road to the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019, but far beyond.”

SY Lau, Senior Executive Vice President of Tencent and President of its Online Media Group, said: “We are very glad to establish the strategic partnership with FIBA, the world governing body for basketball. Tencent and FIBA will work together closely in a variety of capacities in the coming nine years, particularly for the 2019 and 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cups. Built upon a massive user base of around 800 million viewers, Tencent will keep working on expanding the influence of international basketball in China and driving China’s sports industry to new heights through a score of ever-improving media products and technologies.”

Tencent is one of the largest Internet companies in the world, using “technology to enrich the lives of Internet users”. Its subsidiaries provide media, entertainment, internet and mobile phone value-added services and operate online advertising services in China. Its offerings include the instant messenger Tencent QQ and one of the largest web portals, QQ.com. The mobile chat service WeChat has helped bolster Tencent’s continued expansion into smartphone services. Tencent holds a 15% stake of JD.com, one of the largest online retailers in China. Founded in 1998, the 2015 market value of Tencent exceeded 200 billion US$. On September 8, 2015, Tencent became the largest Internet company in Asia by value after Alibaba suffered a major drop.

This story first appeared in the blog, The Sport Intern. The editor is Karl-Heinz Huba of Lorsch, Germany. He can be reached at ISMG@aol.com. The article is reprinted here with permission of Huba.

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