Alibaba have unveiled a new logo at their Hangzhou headquarters in China to celebrate their announcement earlier this year that they would sponsor the Olympic Games with a commitment which will last over a decade to 2028.
Alibaba have also become the official “Cloud Services” and “E-Commerce Platform Services” Partner of the IOC and a Founding Partner of the Olympic Channel.
Alibaba’s involvement with the Olympics started at last year’s Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro. The e-commerce company’s B2C shopping site, Tmall, struck alliances with streaming-video site Youku Tudou and micro-blogging site Sina Weibo, which are also owned by Alibaba, search giant Baidu and digital sports media outlet Sina Sports to bolster customer interaction through Olympics-related digital advertising and marketing campaigns.
Benefits for the IOC include opportunities to connect with fans seeking official Olympic-licensed products and developing and customizing the Olympic Channel for a Chinese audience.
Alibaba will also doubtless benefit from their Olympic presence as they continue to roll out their Gateway programme around the world which aims to connect Western brands and retailers with Chinese consumers, either direct through TMall or by partnering with local Chinese merchants. Whilst the Gateway programme is relatively new, already thousands of US retailers have signed up and in late September Alibaba are holding an event in Canada to give Canadian merchants the same opportunity.
The Olympic sponsorship might be an incredibly expensive partnership for Alibaba, especially over 10 years, but the amount of exposure they’ll get during each Summer Games will be be phenomenal in making the Alibaba brand better known in the West and at the same time appeal to millions of Chinese consumers.