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Alipay partners with UEFA National Team Football

While China has long been recognised as a sporting powerhouse, in recent years, many of the country’s most prominent business leaders have been tapping into sport’s business potential. In the process, they have driven the growth of the nation’s sports industry and created huge opportunities for organisations and businesses both domestically and globally.

Just last week it was announced that UEFA, based in Nyon, and Alipay, the world’s leading payment and lifestyle platform (belonging to the Alibaba group), operated by Ant Financial Services Group, have had sealed a new eight-year global partnership covering all UEFA national team football competitions from 2018 to 2026.

Alipay, with over 700 million active users in China, thereby becomes the Official Global Payment Partner, Official Global Digital Wallet and the Official Global FinTech Partner for all men’s national team events, including UEFA EURO 2020 and UEFA EURO 2024.

Read the full press release by Ant Financial Services Group here.

This new partnership was supported by Shankai Sports, which specialises in developing and delivering China strategies for international sports organisations in the fields of sponsorship, media rights, hospitality, event operations and licensing. Co-founder of Shankai Sports Olivier Glauser, a Swiss national and EPFL alumni, explains: “Chinese technology leaders such as Alibaba and Ant Financial are not just looking at using their sponsorship as a promotional platform, they want to actively contribute their advanced technologies to improve sports organisations and transform the fan experience. At Shankai we are very proud to play a part in bringing these two worlds together.”

The company’s headquarters are based in Beijing, but in 2015, Shankai Sports opened an office in Lausanne due to its increasing collaboration with UEFA, the IOC and other International Sports Federations. Shankai helped introduce Chinese electronics manufacturer Hisense as a global sponsor for the UEFA European Championship in France in 2016 and also facilitated a 12-year partnership deal between the Alibaba Group and the IOC.

Olivier Glauser was a panellist at the inaugural edition of THE SPOT earlier this year, appearing with Joey Tan, Alibaba’s Head of Global Strategic Initiatives, and sharing insights about China’s economic power and the global influence of Chinese brands.

The second edition of THE SPOT will take place in Lausanne on 28-29 May 2019. Registration for the event will open soon. Stay tuned at for more details and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.