Alibaba is to sponsor the Olympics in a deal that will run until 2028. It will see the Chinese retail giant create a global e-commerce platform specifically for Olympics sponsors to sell their branded wares.
The company has become the official e-commerce and cloud services partner as well as a founding partner of the Olympic Channel, ahead of Asia hosting three consecutive Games.
South Korea's Pyeongchang it to host the 2018 winter Games, Tokyo the 2020 summer Olympics and Beijing the 2022 winter Games.
Alibaba said it will create a global e-commerce platform for to Olympic stakeholders – which include Samsung, P&G and Asics – to engage and connect with fans seeking official Olympic licensed products manufactured by the Olympic parties’ official licensees, and selected sports products, on a worldwide basis.
It will also use its digital media expertise to develop and customise the Olympic Channel – the live-streaming service – for a Chinese audience.
"This is a ground-breaking, innovative alliance, and will help drive efficiencies in the organisation of the Olympic Games through 2028," said IOC president Thomas Bach.
Alibaba’s founder, Jack Ma, added that the partnership with the IOC “is built on a foundation of shared values and a common vision for connecting the world and enriching people’s lives.”
“We are proud to support Olympic Agenda 2020, using our innovations and technologies to help evolve the Olympic Games for the digital era,” continued Ma.
Alibaba is the first company to make a long-term commitment to the IOC through 2028 and the first Chinese company to commit to the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.