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Ten predictions for 2015 Chinese sports industry

By Wisdom Holdings Group, editing by Yutang 04 Jan 2015

1. Brand value of Chinese Super League will continue to raise

Chinese Super League (CSL) is China’s top football league. Since an anti-corruption movement years ago, the environment within the league and outside the league has been effectively turned around. After some developments in recent years, its game attendance has increased significantly, sponsorship also increased compared to before, and its brand value has been improved. 

In the 2015 season, this good trend is likely to continue for CSL, producing a larger influence. 

2. Detailed reform plans to be outlined for the industry

The State Council of China announced plans to grow the Chinese sports industry and to promote sports consumption this year. Local governments would follow up with relevant policies about budget, taxation, land, finance, human resources, employments, etc. to provide policy backup. 

3. Sales of smart devices to increase

Smart devices are fairly common now. They would integrate more with the mobile Internet, have more functions, and be easier to use. What’s more, smart bicycle era would come. 2015 may witness a big increase in the sales of smart devices. 

4. More investments will come from private capital

After Taobao invested in Evergrande FC, more and more private companies wanted to have a share of the industry. There are numerous rumors regarding investments tendencies from e-commerce business and real estate companies. Venture capitals are also looking for potential targets. It bears an extreme resemblance with situations when the Chinese culture industry was rising. The present condition of the culture industry shows the future of sports industry. If sports industry would take lessons from the growth of the culture industry, it would make progress faster. 

5. The scale of fitness related consumption will continue to expand

With a background of increasing inner demand of Chinese economy, sports consumption as a new economic growth point will play an important role, especially after the plan mentioned before by the State Council. 

6. More sports stadiums and venues will open to the public

As more and more people start to exercise in sports venues, the venues will open more to the public. Moreover, if sports facilities of schools were open to the public, the contrast between needs and venue availabilities would be largely eased. 

7. More people will participate in sports for leisure purpose

People doing camping, mountain climbing, bouldering, hiking, bicycles and other outdoor sports will gradually increase. 

8. Sports lottery sales will make new records

The Brazil World Cup contributed RMB15.5 billion to the sports lottery, which was only 4% of the total sales. Although there will not be a World Cup in 2015, the increase would reach 17.8%, basically at the same speed with last two years. If at this growing speed of 18% each year, sales could reach RMB450 billion by 2015, and would make a record of RMB500 billion by 2016. Sports lottery would pass welfare lottery, taking over a half of lottery sales.

9. Winter sports will develop very fast

With the bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics moving forward steadily, China’s winter sports will have an unprecedented opportunity for development. Natural resources in the North can be used very well, and a trend of building artificial snow fields would emerge in the South as well. 

10. Sporting goods sector will gradually revive

With much good news for the industry happened lately, sporting goods companies gathered in the southern China province of Fujian, would embrace a spring for their businesses. 

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