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Alibaba moves into sports

Alibaba ceo
Alibaba chairman Jack Ma. Photo: VCB/Getty Images

Chinese tech giant Alibaba is using its unparalleled reach across e-commerce, logistics, entertainment and travel to change the way its users consume, interact with and participate in sports.

Driving the news: The company’s sports arm, Alisports, is leveraging Alibaba's expansive ecosystem and gigantic user base (over 600 million active users) to move into the world of organized sports, Bloomberg recently reported.

  • "Using marathons as a guinea pig, it's scooping up broadcast rights and collecting information on participants and viewers to sell them everything from running shoes to health insurance."
  • "Fans watching the event on the company’s Youku streaming service can even send virtual gifts and tips to their favorite runners."

The big picture: Once this strategy is replicated across other sports, Alibaba will slowly begin to involve itself in nearly every aspect of the Chinese sports market: media, advertising, retail, events, fitness and health.

The bigger picture: This will provide a blueprint for how other platforms like Amazon and Twitter should — and shouldn't — go about using big data to penetrate the sports market.

P.S. ... Speaking of Alibaba, the company's co-founder and executive vice chairman Joseph Tsai — who already owns 49% of the Brooklyn Nets — officially purchased the WNBA's New York Liberty yesterday.

Go deeper: Alibaba's Singles Day tops Amazon's Prime Day in under 10 minutes