Three Years as Olympic Partner But Just Getting Started

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Three Years as Olympic Partner But Just Getting Started

This month marks three years as a member of The Olympic Partner (TOP) Program for Alibaba Group, and we couldn’t be more excited about the achievements we’ve accomplished together with the International Olympic Committee (IOC). As we are gearing up for our first Olympic Summer Games in Tokyo, I thought this was the right moment to offer an update on that progress.

We joined the TOP program as the official Cloud Services and E-Commerce Platform Services partner of the Olympic Games through 2028. Being a worldwide partner to the IOC supports Alibaba’s globalization strategy and brings us greater visibility as we pursue our mission of serving 2 billion consumers around the world. But more than that, we share a vision with the IOC of using technology to level the playing field and enrich people’s lives. To that end, we will leverage Alibaba’s technology to digitally transform the Games while also helping the IOC attract more young fans around the world.

In three short years, we’ve already made a strong start. We were the founding partner of the Olympic Channel news and entertainment site, and we launched the first-ever Olympic online store on our B2C marketplace Tmall. In collaboration with the Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS), we also introduced a more powerful and efficient way to broadcast the Games, called OBS Cloud. By leveraging our best-in-class technology, OBS Cloud will help transform the media experience by creating an optimal environment for Olympic rights holding broadcasters and by streamlining content production and distribution during game time.

We want to use our technology and computing power to build the infrastructure backbone of the Games, enabling an easy, secure and seamless experience for all stakeholders. This infrastructure includes a suite of digital products which are able to support event operations and experience. OBS Cloud is part of this. And through a partnership with fellow TOP Partner Intel, we created 3D Athlete Tracking, which uses cameras to extract data from athletes in motion to create optimized training programs for them.

These advances will help carry the Olympic Games into the digital era, creating a better experience for athletes, coaches, broadcasters, host cities and fans. But we’re far from done. There’s still much more to do.

First, we are “all in” for Tokyo 2020. In addition to Alibaba Cloud and Tmall, many other Alibaba business units will join in the excitement for Tokyo 2020. For example, our global marketplace AliExpress officially kicked off its Olympic activation with the IOC at the Youth Olympic Games last week in Lausanne, through online marketing campaigns that promote the Olympic spirit.

WATCH: A First Look at the Alibaba Cloud Gallery at Narita Airport

Over the next several months, you’ll see more of our Tokyo 2020 plans unfold as we prepare for our onsite presence at the Games and introduce new ways in which we are leveraging our technology and ecosystem to help the IOC transform the Games for Tokyo 2020 and beyond.

I’m also proud to announce – for the first time – the theme for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games: supporting young people with the power of technology. We founded Alibaba because we saw the potential of technology to level the playing field for everyone, from small businesses to young people. Enabling youth with technology has been deeply rooted in our mission from day one. Today, hundreds of millions of young people are using our technology every day to enrich their lives. This mission is more important than ever in Tokyo 2020, as it’s also shared by the IOC, the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games (TOCOG) and many other organizing committees. Engaging with the younger generation is an important goal for the IOC’s Agenda 2020, and TOCOG wants to make Tokyo 2020 the youngest Games ever. We are working on a global advertising campaign in the lead-up to Tokyo 2020 meant to inspire young people. I will be able to share more in a few months.

Given our 12-year partnership with the IOC, we have our eyes on Beijing 2022 and Paris 2024 — and beyond. For one, we’re focused on making Beijing a truly cloud-based Olympics that will offer a unique experience for attendees with how they buy tickets, purchase merchandise and engage overall via mobile technology. For Paris, our cloud infrastructure is supporting the official Games site, fan engagement site and educational site, as well as their planning and activation in the run-up to the event.

We want the Olympic Games to be as interactive and engaging for fans and athletes as possible, and we are excited about our work with the IOC to get there. Together, and along with the other TOP Partners, we’ll transform the Olympic Movement for the future.

AlibabaAlibaba GroupAliViewsInternational Olympic CommitteeOlympic Games Tokyo 2020Olympics
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