Alibaba Group’s ecosystem will be the official home for Manchester United video content, the e-commerce giant and legendary English soccer club said Monday.
Manchester United content, such as first-team matches and highlights, will be presented and localized on multiple Alibaba platforms, including a first-of-its-kind, dedicated Manchester United channel on Alibaba’s video-streaming platform, Youku.
Manchester United Group Managing Director Richard Arnold said that Chinese fans are a huge part of the club’s global following.
“We are always looking for new ways to engage with fans there and this partnership with Alibaba enables them to connect with the club directly through one of China’s most popular video streaming platforms,” Arnold said. “We look forward to working with Alibaba to further grow our fan base in China and building on other areas of the partnership in the near future.”
The new Manchester United Youku channel will feature academy, women’s and first-team tour games, first-team games shown on demand, as well as global and China-specific content. Manchester United had already broadcast three games from their pre-season tour on the Youku homepage, the club said.
In addition, they said they would work together to launch a “future Manchester United flagship store” on B2C marketplace Tmall. Once it is launched, fans in China would be able to visit the flagship directly from the dedicated Youku channel, “creating a seamless content and ecommerce experience,” a release said.
Alibaba Group President Michael Evans said the company sought to provide fans with in-demand online content and shopping that leverages the latest technology.
“With this cooperation, we are leveraging Alibaba’s ecosystem to bring a unique Manchester United experience closer to fans and consumers in China,” he said.