The International Olympic Committee announced Thursday that Alibaba will become the official cloud services and e-commerce platform services and a founding partner of the Olympic Channel, offering its digital capabilities in a partnership through 2028.
With the partnership, Alibaba will help Olympics management operate more efficiently, effectively and securely with its cloud computing infrastructure and cloud services, including supporting big data analytics requirements. Alibaba will provide its digital media technologies to develop and customize a localized and relevant Olympic Channel for a Chinese audience.
Timo Lumme, the IOC’s Director of Television and Marketing Services, said the partnership was “transformational” and called Alibaba the “ideal partner” to help go after an estimated 700 million online viewers in China. According to Lumme, the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro saw video consumed by half the world’s population, and the IOC hopes to continue to grow that and expand content to cater to an audience 365 days a year.
Alibaba will also provide a global e-commerce platform to connect with fans seeking licensed Olympic products.
The 12- year deal takes Alibaba through the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 and the Olympic and Olympic Winter Games in 2024, 2026 and 2028 in cities yet to be selected by the IOC.
“In this new digital world, Alibaba is uniquely positioned to help the IOC achieve a variety of key objectives outlined in Olympic Agenda 2020, while positively shaping the future of the Olympic Movement,” IOC president Thomas Bach said in a statement. “This is a ground-breaking, innovative alliance, and will help drive efficiencies in the organisation of the Olympic Games through 2028, whilst also supporting the global development of digital opportunities including the Olympic Channel.”
Added Alibaba’s Jack Ma in a statement: “We are proud to support Olympic Agenda 2020, using our innovations and technologies to help evolve the Olympic Games for the digital era.”