Tsingtao Commits to CBA Professional League

2012/13 season shooting into action this Saturday

Right in time for the 2012/13 CBA League season throw-off this weekend, Infront Sports & Media has secured another high profile sponsor for Asia’s most popular professional basketball series: Tsingtao, the famous Chinese brewery has committed to the CBA Professional League as new Official Partner.

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As part of the sponsorship agreement, negotiated by the CBA’s official media and marketing partner Infront, the Tsingtao brand will be involved at all 272 games of the regular season as well as at the widely followed playoffs (37 games) and final on 22 March. The package also includes a particular highlight of the annual basketball season – the CBA All-Star Weekend, played on 23 and 24 February 2013 at the Guangzhou International Sports Arena. Attracting cumulative television audiences of more than 100 million viewers, it guarantees extensive brand exposure to Tsingtao as well as significant additional print and online coverage.

This season, television exposure is also set to increase further – to the benefit of the associated sponsors. From next weekend onwards, CCTV-5 will broadcast a total of seven selected games each week including four live and three delayed. In the history of the CBA this is an unprecedented amount of exposure on China’s top sports channel. In addition, Infront is amid positive negotiations with many regional networks for additional live coverage throughout the year. For the start of the season, over 20 channels were secured to take up the programming – complemented by extended partnerships with China's news portal Sohu.com and leading video website PPTV.com for live webcasts across their digital platforms. In addition, the CBA will again be broadcast to the North American market – based on an agreement between Infront and One World Sports (OWS), North America's leading Asian sports provider.

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Consistent high quality production guaranteed
The increase in exposure for the CBA League is a direct result of Infront’s constant efforts to enhance the television production quality of the CBA games. This season, together with the CBA it has introduced clearly defined production guidelines. All 14 host broadcasters will operate according to this manual – guaranteeing a consistent high quality TV image. Starting from this season, Infront is also distributing a 30-minute summary program for each round of the games – which has been taken up by over 20 channels.

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Sponsorship package ensures extensive visibility
In order to ensure maximum brand visibility on TV – Tsingtao’s official sponsorship package comprises extensive brand exposure in the arena, including advertising on LED boards. The Tsingtao Brewery will also act as the Title Sponsor for the cheerleading squad, benefitting from additional attention during all game breaks. Beyond that, the company can carry out promotional activities onsite as well as supplementary PR events featuring top players from all 17 CBA clubs. In order to support Chinese basketball at all levels, Tsingtao also intends to set up a 3-on-3 basketball series across China for amateur players and basketball fans. Finally, the brand will be integrated into all promotional materials as well as on the official CBA League website.

All-round activation planned to interact with consumers
Mr. Huang Kexing, President of Tsingtao Brewery Company Limited, commented: “Tsingtao has been a strong supporter of sports in China and the development of basketball has always been our major focus. The partnership between the Tsingtao brewery, a world known Chinese brand and the CBA, the top professional basketball league in China, is a great match and will be mutually benefiting.”

Mr. Wang Ruiyong, Vice President of Tsingtao Brewery Company Limited, added: “Tsingtao will make the best of the sports marketing platform provided by the CBA. We will launch plenty of activities to enrich the interactive experience of basketball among our consumers. Tsingtao will provide full support to the development of basketball in China.”

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Ma Guoli, Managing Director of Infront China, added: “Events like the CBA League finals and the CBA All-Star Game rank among the most watched Chinese sports events of the year and the additional broadcast agreements for the 2012/13 season will further add to this. It is therefore an ideal property for brand engagement with Chinese consumers, making use of the ever growing popularity of basketball in the country. On the other hand, the Chinese Basketball Association also benefits from the strength of the Tsingtao brand. Taking the company’s history as a major supporter of Chinese sport in all its diversity into account, the CBA has won a highly reliable and trusted partner for the future.”

CBA League season starts this week
The 2012/13 CBA League season starts on 24 November in Beijing when the defending champions Beijing Ducks take on the Shanghai Sharks at the Shougang Gymnasium. Now in its 18th season, the competitive level of the league has rapidly increased. Experienced foreign stars including Tracy McGrady (Qingdao, NBA player 1997-2012), Von Wafer (Xinjiang, NBA player 2005-2012) and Gilbert Arenas (Shanghai, NBA player 2001-2012) play alongside young Chinese talent such as Wang Zhelin (Fujian) and Gao Shang (Guangdong). All these players complement the roster of well-known, popular stars like Yi Jianlian (Guangdong), Wang Zhizhi (Bayi), Bateer (Xinjiang) and Stephon Marbury (Beijing).

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The high sports performance and extended visibility of the platform have both contributed to the growing commercial appeal of the CBA League. With Li Ning, Infront signed the biggest strategic partner and apparel sponsor agreement in Chinese sports history – ranking as one of the most extensive commercial partnerships worldwide. In addition to Tsingtao, the Official Partner line-up includes Sohu (portal website), PPTV (video website), UPS (parcel delivery) and China Continent Property & Casualty Insurance Company Ltd. (insurance). Konica Minolta (cameras), Nike (sports apparel – supplier of the official CBA ball), TCL (electronic appliance) and MOD (optoelectronic equipment) are involved as Official Sponsors whilst another 13 Official Providers round up the group.

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