Man Utd join Alibaba for major content-driven foray into China

December 6 – Manchester United have unveiled a partnership with Alibaba Group that will see club content on Alibaba’s digital platforms for the first time in China.

A dedicated Manchester United channel will be available on Alibaba’s video-streaming platform, Youku, and will feature academy, women’s and first team tour games, plus first team games shown on-demand as well as China-specific content.  The club has already broadcast three games from their pre-season tour on the Youku homepage.

Other Alibaba platforms will broadcast select first-team matches, highlights and localised original productions.

Manchester United Group Managing Director, Richard Arnold said: “We are proud of our passionate and loyal following around the world and our Chinese fans are a huge part of that.  We are always looking for new ways to engage with fans there and this partnership with Alibaba enables them to connect with the club…  We look forward … to further grow our fan base in China and building on other areas of the partnership in the near future.”

There are 700 million consumers to Alibaba’s platforms. Man Utd claims to have 1.1 billion fans and followers worldwide.

The deal will include the creation of a Manchester United flagship store, on Tmall, Alibaba’s B2C Marketplace, which will become the official online marketplace store selling Manchester United merchandise in China.

Michael Evans, president, Alibaba Group said: “We share the same goal, which is to provide fans with one-of-a-kind online content consumption and shopping that leverages the latest technology.   With this cooperation we are leveraging Alibaba’s ecosystem to bring a unique Manchester United experience closer to fans and consumers in China.”

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