The Beijing visit was part of an Asia tour for Woods and Nike Golf, "Make it Matter," which included a stop at Shenzhen's Mission Hills and South Korea's Jade Palace Golf Club.
Woods was fresh off a third-place tie at The Masters last weekend, and Vegas oddsmakers have him the as favorite to win the US Open in June.
Liu Xiang's most recent accomplishment was his 13.09-second Asian games gold medal. Next month in Shanghai, he faces American David Oliver, who ran the fastest 100-meter hurdles time in the world last year, May 15 at the Samsung Diamond League Dunlop Shanghai Golden Grand Prix.
Tiger Woods/Liu Xiang image: Xinhua
Tags: athletics, golf, Liu Xiang, Tiger Woods
World Championship Golf event, one of 100 so sanctioned by the International Federation of PGA Tours. The announcement was made at a Shanghai press conference earlier today. The event's prize money will increase from $5 million to $7 million, and Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia are both confirmed to compete.
The HSBC Championship will take place November 5 through 8 at Sheshan International Golf Club in Shanghai, where it has taken place every year since it started. But IMG Golf global managing director Mark Steinberg said at the press conference that it will likely move to Mission Hills, perhaps as soon as 2011.
This post relies heavily on the reporting of Shanghaiist managing editor Dan Washburn, who attended the press conference and is the only English-language writer closely following China's golf scene. His full report is here.
Tags: Dan Washburn, golf, HSBC Championship, IMG, Mission Hills, Sheshan International Golf Club, Tiger Woods
Watch the tournament's Web site for news about tickets.
Tags: golf, HSBC Champions, Sheshan, Tiger Woods
That appears to be temporary situation, as sports marketing behemoth IMG Worldwide Inc has signed a landmark exclusive 20-year agreement with CCTV that gives US-based IMG rights to develop and market new sports events in mainland China, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
According to the WSJ, financial terms of the deal – which will give IMG an unparalleled competitive advantage in one of the world's fastest-growing television markets - have yet to be disclosed and the deal is expected to be formally announced on August 7.
"The fundamental purpose of the joint venture is to marry what CCTV does in China and what IMG does all over the world," the paper quotes Ted Forstmann, IMG's chairman and chief executive, as saying.
CCTV's daily audience of 680 million people is the world's largest for any network. IMG is expected to focus on developing sports events and other entertainment events around China for broadcast on CCTV.
How big is IMG? As the WSJ puts it:
"Mr Forstmann, a founding partner of buyout firm Forstmann Little & Co, acquired IMG in 2004. The company, one of the world's largest producers and distributors of sports, owns or manages more than 4,000 sporting and entertainment events, from Wimbledon to the Australian Open. It also manages the careers of many athletes, including golfer Tiger Woods and tennis player Maria Sharapova."
"If we are successful [in China], there are going to be a whole lot of events that exist that do not exist today," Mr. Forstmann told the WSJ.
The big question is: Will IMG be able to remold China's sports industry, which is essentially a poorly organized state-owned enterprise, into a streamlined moneymaker like that of the United States? The answer is coming to a TV near you.
Tags: Australian Open, CCTV, IMG, sports marketing, Tiger Woods, Wall Street Journal
As reported by Qilu TV (hat tip to Shanghaiist), the top three earners in the Chinese sports world ranked according to the sum of their basic annual pay, prize money, endorsement and appearance fees are Yao Ming (RMB250 million), Liu Xiang (RMB70 million) and Guo Jingjing (RMB15 million). These are followed by Sun Jihai (RMB10 million), Shao Jiayi (RMB6 million), Dong Fangzhuo (RMB4.8 million) and Zheng Zhi (RMB4.5 million).
For the most part, Chinese athletes have yet to be fetching the astronomical salaries and endorsement contracts common for superstars in the US or Europe, but they are beginning to catch up. According to Qilu TV in Shandong province, Yao Ming is the highest-earning Chinese athlete, pulling in 250 million yuan (US$36.5 million) per year.
Being an NBA All-Star and a celebrity in both the US and China markets, Yao is miles ahead of the rest of China's biggest sports stars in terms of income. His 250 million yuan/year is more than double what Liu Xiang, Guo Jingjing, Sun Jihai, Shao Jiayi, Dong Fangzhuo and Zheng Zhi make combined.
Here's the breakdown of the athletes by gender, sport and annual income:
Yao Ming – male – basketball – 250 million yuan
Liu Xiang – male – 110m hurdles – 70 million yuan
Guo Jingjing – female – diving – 15 million yuan
Sun Jihai – male – football/soccer – 10 million yuan
Shao Jiayi – male – football/soccer – 6 million yuan
Dong Fangzhuo – football/soccer – 4.8 million
Zheng Zhi – football/soccer – 4.5 million
Aside from how far ahead of the pack Yao's earnings are, it is also noteworthy that a woman – Guo Jingjing – is in the top three, and four of the top seven are footballers, despite China being universally acknowledged as a weak football/soccer country. That said, it is unlikely that Shao Jiayi will be pulling in much in the way of endorsements or paid appearances in the next year after missing a crucial penalty kick earlier this year in a World Cup qualifier against Australia in Kunming.
Ten years ago, it would have been difficult to imagine Chinese athletes pulling in millions of dollars each year – a testament to the rapidly growing importance of professional sports and sports marketing. At this point though, it is difficult to imagine any Chinese athletes coming close to Tiger Woods' US$127 million annual income, however Yao's salary would be enough to make him one of the top ten highest-paid American athletes had he been born across the Pacific.
Tags: Dong Fangzhuo, endorsements, Guo Jingjing, NBA, Shao Jiayi, sports marketing, Sun Jihai, Tiger Woods, Yao Ming, Zheng Zhi
This wasn't the first time I've seen CCTV cut off a major sporting event just before an exciting overtime finish. It is, pardon the pun, par for the course with the network. CCTV adheres to a strict broadcast schedule, and if your basketball game, golf tournament or tennis match isn't over in time, tough luck. It was about 10:55 when the U.S. Open cut off this morning. Sorry, sports fans—we interrupt this great moment in sports to bring you news of the early rounds of a two-week tennis tournament. I have heard that this exact issue is what has prevented Major League Baseball from securing airtime in China. Baseball games, like golf tournaments, aren't played against a clock and their run times are very inconsistent.
The CCTV Golf and Tennis Channel resumed its U.S. Open re-broadcast at 11:15... at the 12th hole. ESPN's video highlights are looking better all the time.
Tags: CCTV, golf, Tiger Woods, US Open
If you thought you had to miss this instant classis because you're in China, you're only partly right. If you've got cable and a flexible work schedule, you can see the last round tomorrow. The US Open has been airing for at least the past two days on CCTV's Golf and Tennis Channel (CCTV 高尔夫网球), available if you have cable (in Beijing, it is Channel 170). Rounds 3 and 4 aired Tuesday and Wednsday starting at noon. We couldn't find a broadcast schedule online, but it seems likely that the playoff round will air at noon tomorrow.
CCTV Golf and Tennis Channel also aired live French Open tennis matches, and has been doing the same with Wimbledon.
Tags: CCTV, golf, tennis, Tiger Woods, US Open, Wimbledon
So what's up with Nike's all Kobe, all the time strategy? A couple of weeks ago, it wasn't like that. He shared ads on Wangfujing with other Nike spokes-athletes Liu Xiang (110-meter hurdles world record holder), Roger Federer (tennis star) and Yi Jianlian (forward for the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks). But Kobe just won the NBA's MVP award, he's leading the Los Angeles Lakers' playoff run and will be featured in a show on CCTV next week.
Tags: Adidas, advertising, Guo Jingjing, Kobe, Li-Ning, marketing, Nike, Tiger Woods, volleyball, Wangfujing