The National Football League plans to tackle China’s fast-growing consumer market by opening an official store on Tmall with the help of Export Now, an e-commerce service provider that removes many of the trade barriers inherent to selling in the PRC.
Set to debut in September, the planned NFL store represents a bid to boost the profile of America’s favorite sport among a rising middle class that is already bigger than the U.S. population. Similar to its U.S. e-commerce store, NFLShop.com, the China outlet on Tmall will sell apparel, equipment and accessories branded with the logos of the NFL and its 32 teams. Tmall is China’s largest B2C online shopping platform.
Although U.S. football is a quintessentially American pastime, NFL products are becoming increasingly popular around the world, said Richard Young, managing director of NFL China. Using Export Now “offers the NFL the ability to accelerate our international development and expand our access to the Chinese consumer market,” he said in a prepared statement.
Started in 2010 by former U.S. ambassador and former Commerce Department official Frank Lavin, Export Now helps foreign brands sell direct to Chinese consumers by simplifying the process of exporting and operating a Chinese-language website. The company currently provides service to 110 brands, including Totes and Tabasco hot sauce.