Neymar is coming soon to a billboard near you, especially if you live in Asia. In today’s Sports Talk column, I look at how Barcelona’s new signing will try to conquer the China market, following in the footsteps of the God of Branding, David Beckham.
The David Beckham Press Conference (TM) was shown live on CCTV-5, the Chinese national broadcaster’s sports channel, at 2.30pm Beijing time today (and included a couple of searching questions from yours truly!). Here are five things I’d wanted to know, along with the answers:
1. What was the most inane question asked at the press conference?
Answer: Inanity Prize shared between Kid on Stage (How old is your daughter? A: 21 months) and Sky News (How are your chopsticks skills? A: They’re great.)
There is just one more week to go until Sir David of Beckham touches down in these fair lands. His itinerary is still unknown but if you camp out at Beijing Capital International Airport next Wednesday (March 20th), you’ll have as good a chance as any of catching a glimpse of the former-footballer-turned-celebrity. Just remember to bring ear plugs.
No particular China angle in this week’s Sports Talk column about Rory McIlroy, but I’m currently working on a piece about Chinese golf – and teen sensation Guan Tianlang in particular – which I will post once it’s in print. Here’s the piece:
When Rory McIlroy signed a multi-million-dollar endorsement deal with Nike earlier this year, most of the headlines focused on the bottom line. Those in the game, though, were quick to point out the risks.
Here’s my Sports Talk column from today’s Global Times on Oscar Pistorius’ fall from grace:
When Oscar Pistorius came to Beijing for the 2008 Paralympic Games, he was already something of a celebrity. As a 17-year-old, he had won Paralympic gold in Athens four years earlier, and though he had failed in his bid to run at the Beijing Olympic Games against able-bodied athletes, he didn’t disappoint at the Paralympic Games, winning three gold medals and running record times in each event.
It seems the Li-Ning Tower really is leaning and is in danger of crashing down. The company’s shares have fallen more than 25% since January 21, including a sizeable drop last week after the company announced plans to raise up to HK$1.87 billion by issuing convertible securities. In construction terms, that’s an awful lot of scaffolding.
The news comes just one year after massive investment from TPG and GIC. The company’s press release talked of a deteriorating situation, a build-up of inventory, sales problems, poor productivity and profitability, worrying debt levels and a need to transform the business.
Just write it (with apologies to a global sportswear giant, but despite the name of the blog, I won’t be favouring any one of them over another). This blog has been in the works for a while now, so, as we start a new year, what better time to kick it off?
I’ll be covering anything that could be construed as sports business, as long as there is some sort of China/Asia angle: international sports or leagues trying to crack the China market, Chinese companies trying to make it overseas, sports events in Asia, sponsorship matters, and likely a bunch more besides.
Sports business news and analysis in China and Asia