Last Sunday, Ali Sports, the sports unit of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, announced a 10-year deal with World Rugby, the international governing body of Rugby Union.
This deal will give Ali Sports exclusive rights to broadcast rugby content, create online rugby stores and invest in World Rugby's grassroots initiatives. Meanwhile, the two sides are looking to support a revamp of China's grassroots rugby and competitions, and increase the sport's visibility through its Internet platforms.
As stated in several reports, the sport's CEO Brett Gosper confirmed that China also has ambitions to host the Rugby World Cup.
The financial terms have not been revealed, but media reports estimate that it may be a multi-million US dollar investment.
"Rugby is such an exciting game with a great emphasis on teamwork and we’ve recognized its exceptionally positive character-building values,” said Zhang Dazhong, CEO of Ali Sports, “We are delighted to partner with World Rugby and look forward to introducing and developing rugby into mainland China at every level. "
Proofread by John Devlin.