Chinese sports business boom
SPOAC visits Shanghai


To speak of rapid growth with regard to the Chinese sports business market is still an understatement.  Chinese government objectives indicate an increase from under $100 billion currently to $800 billion in 2025. In comparison: the value of the global sports business market currently lies between 150 and 200 billion dollars.

So, if there is growth in the field of sports anywhere, it will be in China. The country is therefore a mandatory visit for the members of the General Management Program class of 2017. As part of the module "“Internationalization - How to conquer new horizons”, the 24 participants focused on understanding the rapidly growing Chinese soccer market and on developing successful internationalization strategies in Asia for European soccer clubs while they absorbed the culture around them. 

A case about record champion Bayern Munich’s market entry and strategic approach in China, developed by Prof. Dr. Sascha L. Schmidt (academic director of the SPOAC) and the Harvard Business School, served as a blueprint of a successfully initiated  internationalization strategy for the participants. The case discussion took place on the premises of the prestigious Tongji University, where a selected group of Chinese Tongji University students participated alongside the GMP students. This mix of European and Asian participants made it a very special experience for everyone involved. 

After lively discussion of the case, the GMP students had the chance to direct their questions to FC Bayern Munich's Head of International Marketing and International Strategy, Dr. Daniel Högele, and the managing director of the team's new office in Shanghai, Rouven Kasper.  Armed with knowledge of the Do's and Don'ts of a possible entry into the Chinese sports business market, the SPOAC participants then got to work and analyzed the e-commerce market in five other Asian countries. 

The following day, the results of this work were presented to the FCB representatives Högele and Kasper in the German Center Shanghai, where they were then discussed.  A highlight of the international module in Shanghai which was greatly appreciated by the participants was the feedback on their examination-relevant presentations given by the Bayern representatives who were present. 

Another highlight was the subsequent visit to the FC Bayern office, which was officially opened in the German Center Shanghai in March 2017. Yet there were also the guest lectures given by Mads Davidson from the local soccer club SIPG FC and Tristen Chen, the director of HUPU-Sports, one of the largest Chinese sports websites, which gave the participants in-depth insight into the development of the Chinese sports business market. The visit to Alisports was especially memorable for the participants; the sports business subsidiary of the Alibaba Group is one of the fastest growing companies in the world, and has recently become an IOC sponsor for the Riemann sum of one billion euros over a period of eleven years.

The international experience was topped off by evening visits to traditional Chinese restaurants. At this point at the latest it was clear to the participants that globalization still has many surprises in store for us, at least when it comes to Chinese eating habits. It was an unforgettable trip for the participants, and for SPOAC a  reason to return to Shanghai next year.

More information about SPOAC here

Prof. Dr. Simon Chadwick about the Aspekt of Internationalization

SPOAC GMP-Graduate Philipp Liesenfeld from 1. FC Köln