Our daily newsletter is the industry's leading resource for media & marketing professionals seeking news and trends to assist in reaching and engaging the next generation of sports fans.

Billionaire Jack Ma Adopts Moneyball Approach to Sports Advertising in China | Hashtag Sports Daily

presented with

Sponsored Newsletter

December 7, 2018

Fan Fact:
According to Whistle Sports, 73% of Gen Z men visit YouTube daily

Top Story

Billionaire Jack Ma adopts ‘Moneyball’ approach to sports advertising in China

After getting its start with a service allowing users to track their workouts, a unit of Ma’s Alibaba is now moving onto organized sports.

What's his plan?

Using marathons as a guinea pig, it’s scooping up broadcast rights and collecting information on participants and viewers to sell them everything from running shoes to health insurance. Fans watching via the Youku streaming service can even send virtual gifts and tips to their favorite runners.

The strategy will then be replicated to other fields, including esports, soccer and basketball, as Alisports carves a share of a Chinese sports industry the government estimates could be worth $728 billion by 2025.

The bottom line:

Remember, Chinese fans consume sports on mobile more often than TV, meaning the audience is more interactive with the event and advertising. Ma is turning to data to get the most out of fans and change the way athletic events are managed and people shop for gear.

Read: Bloomberg


Ricky Williams announces 'Freedom Football League' run by former players including T.O.

As the XFL and AAF announce uniforms and city locations, former NFL running back Ricky Williams announced on Thursday that the "Freedom Football League" will be joining the ranks.

The league's ultimate goal appears to be to allow people to play football who are out of the NFL or even looking to get back into it. The league is to be funded both privately and publicly, so when Williams says it will be "partly owned by the players, partly owned by the fans, and partly owned by the operators," he means it.

Read: CBS Sports


FC Barcelona’s digital director is targeting dedicated fans with new products

DAZN will debut “The Journey: Canelo/Rocky,” an original episodic program that takes fans behind the scenes as the December 15th fight between Canelo Alvarez and Rocky Fielding at MSG draws near.

The move suggests DAZN, which entered the U.S. in July and is backed by U.K.-based Perform Group, isn’t limiting its ambitions to the boxing, mixed-martial arts and other sports programming it features for $9.99 a month.

Read: Variety

Partner Content

Last Day to Redeem: 40% Off Subscriptions to The Athletic

Consider yourself a die-hard fan? The Athletic offers access to more than 650-700 authentic, in-depth sports stories every week without the clutter of ads. Click here to be a part of the future of sports journalism for just $2.99/month!

Not an intern: How the young Warriors social media team manages one of the most powerful brands in sports

Brian Witt was 23 and tweeting for @Warriors from his couch at home when he came up with the Splash Brothers nickname that taglines one of the most influential teams and backcourt duos in the history of professional sports.

However simple and fun it sounds to post viral Curry half-court shots and Klay Thompson record-breaking highlight compilations for a living, the job is not so glamorous. Work days during the regular season can last up to 16 hours, but are there any off days? Offseason?

Most NBA teams average about four digital/social producers. The Warriors’ team of nine will grow to 12 this year. It takes weeks of preparation and work to produce those auto-play videos you watch while perusing your phone in boredom during your cramped commute.

Read More


David Stern built the modern NBA. Now he wants to change how we consume sports

Imagine, the former NBA commissioner says, if virtual and augmented reality could allow TV viewers to switch camera vantage points at will, so that we’re suddenly hovering over a thicket of arms tangling for a rebound or hanging out next to a quarterback as 300-pound linemen close in.

Since leaving the NBA five years ago, Stern, 76, has surprisingly been remaking himself as a digital visionary — an angel investor, godfather and all around-kingmaker of a radical sports future.

Read: Washington Post


How this Agency helped Red Bull build a studio for Twitch’s most popular streamer

Tyler “Ninja” Blevins joined Red Bull in June as an athlete, and the brand (with the help of Portland agency Roundhouse) built the popular gamer an impressive streaming studio in his home outside of Chicago.

Founded in 2001, Roundhouse is working on Adidas’ 5th Avenue store in New York and has worked with other brands like Reebok on physical environments and experiences. In the case of Blevins’ streaming studio, the key was to build something that would endure.

Read: Adweek

What Else Is Trending?
  • SOCIAL: Technology has changed baseball, journalism and the news cycle, and as a result, the winter meetings have become a version of the tweeting Olympics
  • GAMBLING: Britain's biggest gambling companies have voluntarily agreed to a "whistle-to-whistle" television advertising ban
  • PUBLISHERS: Bleacher Report spent 2018 building a business for its hit Instagram account House of Highlights. Now, it’s planning to do the same thing for another popular Instagram account it owns: B/R Kicks
  • BRANDS: PepsiCo rolled out a new line of Mountain Dew Amp sodas aimed at esports and gamers, featuring a tactile grip, resealable lip can
  • MARKETING: The LA Kings have ramped up outreach to the Latino community with Spanish broadcasts and a Mexico City clinic

Rad Ads

  • Brand: @SkySports
  • Athlete: @HazardEden10
  • Agency: Festive Football


AC Milan Freshen Up with Bioscalin Haircare Deal

The Details
The two-year agreement, which runs until the end of the 2019-20 season, marks the Guiliani subsidiary’s first venture into the sports industry. The financial terms of the arrangement have not been disclosed, though Guiliani general manager Gaetano Colabucci explained that the brand was using the partnership as a means of targeting men and a sporting audience through increased product visibility.


Global Media Manager
Under Armour – Baltimore, MD

Digital Coordinator, EURO 2020
UEFA – Nyon, Switzerland

Manager, Integrated Campaigns
FanDuel – New York, NY

Digital Brand Communications
Vans – Costa Mesa, CA

Director, Partnership Marketing
Kroenke Sports & Ent – Denver, CO

Associate Editor, Social Talent
ESPN – Bristol, CT

Get a Referral Code today

The Hashtag Sports Ambassador program rewards our most loyal readers and followers and connects our community like never before. Share your code to earn swag and free event tickets for life.

Get Code

Hashtag Sports® reaches a community of 50,000+ innovators. Get in touch to see how we can showcase your thought leadership and content marketing initiatives.

Something missing that we should consider? Email daily@hashtagsports.com.