Alibaba involvement offers massive audience exposure for booming vertical in a $5.5 million prize money tourney
The Asian e-commerce giant Alibaba has announced that it is to sponsor the World Electronic Sports Games (WESG) – a new Shanghai-based multi-game eSports tournament – through subsidiary AliSports.
YuuZoo Corporation Limited, a third generation social e-commerce company, will organise and run the AliSports World Electronic Sport Games through its Chinese JV YuuGames, and manage the eSports Clubs Competition Center for Alibaba throughout China, the announcement reveals.
WESG will commence in April 2016 operating through 20 appointed e-Sports clubs competition centres. Contest participants will compete for the RMB 35.6 million (US$5.5 million) prize money.
AliSports is a newly-formed sports division of Alibaba, targeting China's highly lucrative sports industry, which is expected to grow to US$813.87 billion by 2025.
AliSports will be engaged in different sectors of the sports industry, including eSports, and the group plans to invest RMB 100 million (US$ 15.4 million) for WESG alone.
AliSports will pay YuuGames a multi-million US dollar fee to organise and run WESG and manage AliSports' E-Sports Clubs Competition Center.
Through the deal, YuuZoo will gain a significant number of new users, who will be added to its database. YuuZoo will also benefit from the generation of additional revenue from promotional fees, advertising revenue, and e-commerce sales.
AliSports and YuuGames are planning to launch 1,200 eSports events this year in 15 cities across China, which the two companies claim is home to over 100 million eSports fans, and over 440 million gamers.
Thomas Zilliacus, chairman of both YuuZoo and YuuGames says his companies have organised some of China's largest eSport events in partnership with key Chinese government entities.
"We are confident that we can make Alibaba's World Electronic Sport Games a hugely successful and leading event in China's massive gaming market. As a new partner to China's largest e-commerce group, we are not only looking to reinforce our position as a leader in China's eSports sector, but also to discuss opportunities with Alibaba Group to jointly grow YuuZoo's other China-based businesses, including our gaming business, payment business and social e-commerce business," he said in a statement.
Zhang Dazhong, CEO of AliSports said, "Sports is a multibillion dollar business in China, with massive growth potential. That is why Alibaba is investing heavily in this vertical. Linking sport and technology enhances the quality of life. That is what we want to do through AliSports."
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