July 25 – China’s Suning Sports, part of the Suning group of companies that owns Italy’s Internazionale, is moving more aggressively into the sports business with a find raising reported to have raised $600 million.

Investors include Goldman Sachs, and strategic partners of Suning Sports – Alibaba, Evergrande, Chinese investment fund Yunfeng Capital, technology company SenseTime, government investment funds from Zhejiang and Jiangsu Province, and  bank investment subsidiaries such as CCB International, Minyin International, ABC International, reports Yutang Sports.

One of the first business results of the newfound firepower is the development of a sports streaming platform. Youku, Alibaba Digital Media & Entertainment Group’s online streaming platform, will collaborate with PP Sports and Suning Sports, to jointly launch new channel Youku Sports.

Youku has already set down a sports content marker with the online streaming of the Russia 2018 World Cup, acquired from state broadcasters CCTV. The new hook-up will see PP Sports provide content for Youku’s established and large user base.

Yang Weidong, president of Alibaba Digital Media & Entertainment Group and President of Youku, has said that the World Cup streaming is a first step for the company to build a strong sports presence.

Suning keeps time

Meanwhile Suning’s highest profile asset, Inter Milan, has added watch brand Sea-Gullas an an Official Partner of the Chinese region. Inter already has set up regional partnerships with Meten, Roborock, Monalisa and lvmama.com.

Sea-Gull marked the sponsorship with the announcement of a customised Inter Milan sports-style mechanical watch in the club’s blue and black colours.

Sea-Gull has made the watch a limited edition with just 5,000 available on Suning’s e-retailing platform, Suning.com. The website shows that currently 1,166 watches have been pre-sold since the announcement last Friday.

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Paul Nicholson