AmCham Shanghai's Marketing Committee hosted Michael Marone of Major League Baseball (MLB), Michael Stokes of the National Football League (NFL) and Adam Antoniewicz of the National Basketball Association (NBA) on Friday, June 4, to discuss the successes and difficulties of developing professional sports leagues in China.
Michael Marone initiated the panel discussion with an overview of MLB's market development in China. He described MLB's efforts of creating passion for baseball in China's major cities and raising the level of play through school leagues, college clubs, national team development and a road show.
Michael Stokes described the NFL's focus on media partnerships to further its market entry goals in China by focusing on males, age 18-30, in tier-one cities. He discussed how the NFL is using regional media partnerships, customized content production and grassroots efforts such as university flag football, social events and celebrities to increase awareness of the traditionally American sport among Chinese.
In contrast to the MLB and NFL, the NBA is more established in China, according to Adam Antoniewicz. While NBA basketball has been broadcast in China for over 23 years reaching an estimated 1.4 billion viewers from 2008-2009, the company has focused its most recent efforts on driving deeper consumer engagement in China through social media. The NBA is spearheading merchandising with an NBA store at the Shanghai 2010 World Expo and is also currently pursuing arena development and social responsibility, he said.
Individual Chinese athletes have won top honors in numerous international competitions in a wide variety of sports and the Chinese follow their star athletes religiously. However, success for Chinese team sports, both at home and abroad, has been much less frequent.
On Friday, June 4, AmCham Shanghai's Marketing Committee is pleased to bring you Sports Marketing in China: Trials and Triumphs of Building Sports Leagues in the Middle Kingdom. Join us as we examine the team sport scene in China and review the challenges and opportunities that the China market holds for "foreign" team sports.
Michael Marone of Major League Baseball (MLB), Michael Stokes of the National Football League (NFL) and Adam Antoniewicz of the National Basketball Association (NBA) will discuss the local sports scene, their efforts to build a sports league in China, as well as the successes and difficulties faced building participation in their leagues.
Please join us for what is sure to be an interesting look at how U.S. sports are faring in China!
About the Speakers:
Originally from Plano, Texas, Michael Marone played baseball at Yale University, graduating with a BS in Computer Science. After receiving a full academic fellowship to study in China, Mike attended Tsinghua University, studying Mandarin and Deng Xiaoping theory. While in Beijing, he also became the first foreigner to play for the Beijing Tigers in the Chinese Baseball League. After studying in China, Mike worked on Wall Street for a few years as an investment banking analyst. He returned to China in 2007 to open MLB's China office as Country Manager. He is now in charge of MLB China's marketing and business development.
Michael Stokes was named Managing Director of NFL China in June, 2007. In this role, Stokes is responsible for the day to day management of the NFL's business in China and executing a long term market strategy. He oversees media, commercial and fan development programs and planning for a possible China Bowl game. Stokes began his professional career at Octagon and has spent the entirety of his ten-year NFL career working in the International Department. After graduating from Middlebury College with a degree in history, Stokes earned an MBA from the Stern School at New York University, specializing in global business and management.
Adam Antoniewicz is the Director of Global Marketing Partnerships for NBA China based in Shanghai, China. He currently helps NBA partners, including Coca-Cola, Nike, General Mills and Visa leverage their association with the NBA. He first came to China in 1998 and since then he has worked with numerous sports-related entities including the NFL, Nike, the U.S. Olympic Committee and ESPN. He has an MBA degree from University of Oregon’s Warsaw Sports Marketing Program where he was the valedictorian of his class.
9:30 Event concludes
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