DAVOS, SWITZERLAND — Alibaba executive chairman Jack Ma on Thursday announced a 12-year, three-part digital partnership with the International Olympic Committee at the World Economic Forum. The partnership, Ma said, will help the IOC attract a younger, millennial audience.
As part of the partnership, Alibaba’s cloud services will aim to help the IOC operate in a more efficient and secure way.
Alibaba will also utilise its ecommerce platform to help the IOC engage with fans who are looking for Olympic-licensed products.
Finally, Alibaba will help create a digital Olympic channel to capture key moments and events from the games online.
Last summer, the Olympics faced somewhat of a “nightmare” viewership scenario. NBC struggled to attract an audience for the Rio Olympics, as younger audiences tuned out and ratings tanked.
But streaming from NBC’s app was up nearly 25% from the Rio games to the London games. While a good trend, the vast majority of still people watch the Olympics on their televisions. The Alibaba digital channel may help change that.
“We met last year to talk about digital and how we can make the Olympics digital,” Ma said at the press conference. “For Alibaba, our vision and strategy, we believe we should focus on happiness and health. We believe we should make more young people join the sports ,and make the world happier. We think Alibaba can bring a lot of value to the Olympic games.”
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