The European Tour has secured a long-term partnership with Sina Sports for the exclusive digital broadcast rights to all European Tour events. The agreement will see Sina Sports live-streaming all European Tour tournaments exclusively on all Sina Sports platforms effective immediately until the end of the 2021 season.
A factor in the partnership has been the success of several Chinese golfers on the European Tour, including Li Haotong, the winner of the 2018 Dubai Desert Classic and the first Chinese golfer to be ranked in the top 50 world ranking, and three-time European Tour winner Wu Ashun.
As part of the partnership, Sina Sports’ newly-created in-house digital media agency will manage the European Tour’s official social media assets in China, including its Weibo and WeChat accounts, for the duration of the live-streaming deal.
With over 20 years of operational experience, Sina Sports is the largest content creator on Weibo with over 100 million followers on their 80 Weibo accounts. The in-house agency will provide multi-faceted digital media services for athletes, federations and clubs as well as to seek marketing and sponsorship opportunities with Chinese companies.
Sina Sports began exclusive live broadcasts of the European Tour in early November, with the Turkish Airlines Open reaching 210,000 views on Sina Golf’s Weibo account alone.
Sina Corporation Senior Vice President and Sina Sports General Manager Arthur Wei said: “With the growing presence of Chinese golfers and optimal viewing time, the European Tour is positioned to become a very popular sports property for Chinese fans and we are excited to partner with the European Tour for the next three-plus years.The possibility of large numbers of fans in China rooting for Chinese players regularly competing for titles at convenient viewing times is intriguing.”
Rufus Hack, Chief Content Officer at the European Tour, said: “The European Tour is delighted to agree this new partnership with Sina Sports, which will give golf fans across China access to every event on the European Tour, as well as great additional content in their own language on WeChat and Weibo. With exciting Chinese players like Li Haotong and Wu Ashun continuing to make an impression on the Race to Dubai, we’re looking forward to working with a progressive media partner like Sina Sports to help continue the growth of the European Tour across the region.”
The picture shows European Tour Deputy Chief Operating Officer Ben Cowen (left) with Arthur Wei, Sina Corporation Senior Vice President