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CMC’s way of sports business allocation

By Chen Yaping 22 Jan 2016

China Media Capital (CMC) Timeline

April, 2015: CMC-backed Ti’ao Power acquired four-year media rights to Team China. The payment in the first year values at US$ 10.64 million (RMB 70 million).

October, 2015: CMC-backed Ti’ao Power reached a long term deal for rights to the Chinese Super League, which will cost the company US$1.25 billion (RMB 8 billion) over a five year period. 

October, 2015:Over ten billion RMB was raised to set up CMC Holdings for IP development. This move was supported by giants like Alibaba, Tencent and Oriza Holdings.

December, 2015: CMC and CITIC Capital invested US$400 million to acquire over 13% of City Football Group which owns Manchester City FC.

January, 2016: CMC announced an investment of around US$100 million in SECA World.

Focus on the upstream industry

In the past year, the Chinese sports industry has seen rapid development. Heavy investments have been put into media rights, club acquisitions and events marketing. 

As shown in the timeline above, as an industry participant, CMC prefers to acquire sport IPs. The president Li Ruigang, puts emphasis on the upstream industry. He considers whether the capital can create self-owned IPs. 

CMC, announced on January 21 an investment of around US$100 million in SECA World, a sports marketing company in China. This move means that CMC is dedicated to the industrial distribution of intellectual property (IP). 

More efforts will be made in terms of players’ agencies, sports events and consulting services. As Li once said in an interview, “CMC’s competitiveness lies in its insight into pro sports.”

Value-added space

CMC’s co-operation with SECA dates back to 2013. As the then president of Shanghai Media Group (SMG), Li was able to exchange ideas with Li Sheng, SECA CEO and sponsor of SMG projects. It only took Li a short time to decide to co-invest in SECA, which was also supported by Yao Ming, the retired Chinese professional basketball player.

Li believes that the two-sided co-operation is highly influenced by the boom in the Chinese sports market. SECA now has up to 200 sports stars on their books, including the female pair skater Shen Xue, the pro boxer Zou Shiming and the ultra-marathon player Chen Penbin.

From an investor’s perspective, the future of SECA is undefined yet ripe with potential. “In the face of continual change, the team has shown its confidence, expertise and openness. ” Li said.

Proofread by John Devlin

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