UPDATE: The championship match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup on July 15, between France and Croatia, drew 24 million viewers to Youku, the highest single-game viewership the streaming platform saw throughout the entire tournament. A total of 180 million users watched the World Cup on Youku.
Leading online video hub Youku has unveiled a series of promotions to boost fan engagement in China during the FIFA 2018 World Cup, as it looks to deliver the most-comprehensive coverage of the monthlong sporting event for Chinese users.
Youku, which is partnering with China Central Television to stream all 64 games of the tourney, will deliver to Chinese consumers a viewing experience that is about more than just sitting and watching a match, the Alibaba Group-owned company said at a press conference in Beijing on Sunday.
Among the promotions are World Cup-related talk shows, in-show merchandise sales and prize giveaways. It will be an ecosystem-wide effort, pulling in Taobao, Freshippo (also known as Hema), UC Web, online video site Tudou, Xiami Music, ticketing-platform Damai and Alipay, which is owned by Alibaba Group related company Ant Financial.
“Not only are we streaming soccer matches, but we’re also leveraging this leading sports event to showcase the power of the Alibaba ecosystem and show how Youku can lead the industry and capture opportunities in the China sports market by building relevant content and excitement,” said Weidong Yang, president of Alibaba Digital Media & Entertainment Group and Youku. Yang also serves as CEO of AliMusic.
Here’s a list of what Youku has planned:
“The widespread support from the Alibaba ecosystem … empowers Youku to deliver a superb experience for users to enjoy the popular monthlong tournament in many new and innovative ways,” Yang said.