Alibaba, the official e-commerce platform development and cloud services partner of the International Olympic Committee, launched a series of marketing campaigns to get fans excited for next year’s Tokyo 2020 Summer Games – and help brands turn those fans into customers.
Tmall Winter Festival featured a range of apparel and gear from athletic brands, such as Anta, as well as Olympic Games-themed products from other TOP IOC Partners, including Coca Cola, Intel and Bridgestone, on the Alibaba-owned online marketplace. The campaign ran from December 14th through 16th.
To ramp up excitement, Tmall launched an in-app, interactive feature as part of the campaign. Users can virtually challenge Olympic medalists in an interactive game to collect “energy points” by using their smartphones as motion-sensing devices to win prizes.
Liu Bo, general manager of Tmall and Taobao Marketing said, “Alibaba aims to enable 500 million consumers on our platforms to experience and join in Tokyo 2020 through shopping, games and many other interactive activities. Over the past year, Tmall has built various partnerships with leading sports brands and events to bring interactive, unique and trendy experiences to Chinese consumers.”
In 2020, Tmall said it also would partner with brands to offer consumers promos and benefits on sports products. The company is planning other marketing campaigns in upcoming months, as well, to encourage Chinese consumers to adopt a more active lifestyle and gear up for Tokyo 2020. For example, starting April 15th, Tmall will launch a daily game to incentivize consumers to stay active and participate in the 100-day countdown for Tokyo 2020. To build up excitement for the Games, Tmall will host a series of offline events in 11 different cities in China and other countries before Tokyo 2020, the company said.
Nearly 400 million shoppers have purchased a sports-related item or consumed sports content on Alibaba sites in the past year, according to Tmall. Consumers in Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou have been the biggest spenders in the sports category, with yoga mats, running shoes, and basketball gears among the most popular products on the platform. Liu attributed this growth to the rising demand for more active lifestyles in China, thanks to higher incomes and increased leisure time, especially in first- and second-tier cities, said Liu Bo.
“Through our long-term partnership with the IOC, Alibaba’s vision is to leverage our technology and ecosystem to help the IOC transform the Games for the digital era. With our upcoming creative campaigns, we will provide more opportunities for Chinese fans to celebrate the Games wherever they are and join in the excitement for Tokyo 2020,” said Chris Tung, Chief Marketing Officer of Alibaba Group.
In December 2018, the IOC opened the first-ever online Olympic store on Tmall. Chinese consumers can shop a wide variety of Olympic-branded merchandise, including branded products from the Beijing 2022 and Tokyo 2020 Games such as fashion apparel, pins and other memorabilia.
For Tokyo 2020, Alibaba will also leverage its cloud-computing capabilities to reimagine the Olympic Games for the digital era. In a recent interview with the International Olympic Committee, Tung said that the partnership was a platform to showcase Alibaba’s innovations and technologies to the world through each edition of the Olympic Games, as well as an opportunity to showcase how digital technology can make a difference in engaging young consumers.