Davos: Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba has become a major sponsor of the Olympics after signing a deal with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that runs until 2028, the two parties said on Thursday
Alibaba, which becomes the official e-commerce and cloud services partner, joins a dozen other companies – including Coca-Cola and McDonald’s – as top Olympic sponsors.
No financial details were disclosed. IOC sources have previously told Reuters that major sponsors pay about $100 million per four-year cycle, which includes one summer and one winter games.
Specifically, Alibaba will use its cloud platform to run the IOC’s digital presence “more efficiently and securely,” according to a press release; it will create a new global e-commerce platform for the Olympics; and it will help develop a new Olympic television channel for a Chinese audience.
The two parties declines to say how much the deal is worth.
Alibaba executive chairman Jack Ma and IOC president Thomas Bach first met last year to discuss “how we can make the Olympics more digital,” Bach said. He praised Alibaba’s “first-in-class” cloud technology and said it will “transform the global Olympic movement” and “open for us the door to big data analytics.”
But “we don’t want to [just] be another sponsor to IOC,” said Daniel Zhang, Alibaba’s CEO. “We want to be a true partner to be a game-changer.”
It’s all part of Alibaba’s goal to “focus on happiness and health,” Ma said. “We believe we should make more young people join sports, and make the world happier. Olympic spirit is about teamwork, about working together, about a peaceful, fair, and nice competition. This is why Alibaba wants to join forces with the Olympics.”
This is the longest sponsorship deal any Chinese company has signed with the Olympics. “We are making sure this thing will work,” Ma said, adding that the deal is a “historic moment for Alibaba.”