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INTERVIEW WITH MICHAEL STOKES (Pt. 3)
NFL REPRESENTATIVE TO CHINA
Learn of Their Development of the Markets in China
Past, Present and in the Future

TELECASTS
This section is focused on the deal signed between the NFL and CCTV that is the jewel on the league's roster of 60 broadcast agreements from 223 countries and regions that bring "America's game" to more than two-thirds of the world's population. It is noteworthy that China's first live Super Bowl telecast saw 400,000 people and 2009’s Super Bowl broadcast has 2.2 million viewers (110,364 people saw it on tape delay) – exceptional considering that only an estimated 500,000 expatriates live in China.

US ASIANS: What are NFL China’s immediate and long-term plans of Sina.Com’s Zhang Nan (China’s version of John Madden, along with Guo Aibing – in addition to have worked with him for five years) – who is an important of the website’s weekly simulcast (to 20,000 viewers) as a commentator – along with how will this be incorporated (along with NFL Blitz) within NFL’s promotion campaign in China, especially since he was introduced to American football via the NFL’s youth flag football program?
MICHAEL STOKES: Zhang Nan is an old friend of ours in China. He works for "Key Solutions" - a marketing agency who we hired to help coordinate specific marketing programs. I imagine we will continue working with Zhang Nan and his colleagues for years to come. (To review NFL China's strategic and prominent media partners, click HERE for more information

CCTV IMG JOINT VENTURE PARTNERS WITH
THE NFL FOR REALITY AND HIGHLIGHTS PROGRAMS

NFL Super Bowl To Be Broadcast Live on Chinese National Television

New York, New York, September 24, 2009 -- CCTV IMG Sports Management Company, the 20-year joint venture between China’s CCTV, the world's largest television broadcaster, and IMG Worldwide, the premier sports, entertainment and media company, announced today an agreement with the National Football League (NFL) to develop, produce, distribute and exhibit an NFL reality-based television series and an NFL highlights show in China.

The agreement includes a live broadcast of Super Bowl XLIV from Dolphin Stadium in South Florida on Sunday, February 7, 2010 (Monday, February 8 in China). Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The original television series, entitled NFL China Blitz, will be comprised of 16 30-minute episodes developed in conjunction with the NFL and produced in the Chinese language by CCTV. Broadcasts of the series will run from October 29, 2009 through February 11, 2010. The highlights programs will include 22 weekly 30-minute shows with Chinese in-studio commentators to coincide with each week of the 2009 NFL regular-season and postseason.

"We are delighted to have played a role in helping the NFL, one of the world's most prestigious sports leagues, gain exposure to over 800 million people in China," said Ted Forstmann, chairman and chief executive of IMG. "This agreement represents the first true example of the kind of original programming that we expect the joint venture to produce over the next 20 years." “We are committed to growing our sport around the world, including in China,” said Steve Bornstein, NFL executive vice president, media. “This initiative is an exciting way for us to bring all of the passion and pageantry of the NFL, both on and off the field, to the Chinese audience in a new and innovative format.”

The reality series component of the agreement will feature the most popular and successful youth band in Chinese pop culture, "May Day." The band sings songs mostly in Mandarin and is admired for expressing its hope for world peace through music. In the series, two teams which will include members of May Day, will undertake a series of competitive tasks revolving around the core values of the NFL. Points will be awarded to the winning team for each task and the team with the highest point total at the end of the series will win a unique prize. Each of the 16 original programs will be filmed in various US cities. The highlights programs will be localized by the NFL and will include an NFL-provided script with CCTV talent hosting the weekly show. In addition to the reality series and the NFL highlights show, the agreement calls for the live broadcast of Super Bowl XLIV, on February 8, 2010 at approximately 7:30 a.m. Beijing time on CCTV, with Mandarin commentary. The agreement also includes a regular schedule of advertisements and promotions of the series and the highlights programs throughout China. In addition, both the CCTV IMG joint venture and the NFL have the right to sell sponsorship packages and syndication for the programs.


US ASIANS:
Is there more information on the marketing company “Key Solutions?”
MICHAEL STOKES: Their website is www.key-solution.com.cn.

Key Solutions's positioning is being an organ dedicated to China sports strategy and consultation services, the Key-solution Co., Ltd. is a thinker and leader in China sports market.
Key-solution Co. believes that, sports are strong enough to change the world. It is not only a beautiful declaration, but a guiding principal for Key-solution Co. Ltd to follow step-by-step while serving its clients. It is the key culture foundation of its consultation system. As a Chinese consultation company, Key-solution Co. Ltd is concentrated to keep a position of a running guide in the new consultation field and provide its staff coming from different professions and cultural backgrounds with attractive and permanent career concept.
Key-solution Co., Ltd. is determined to become an attractive sports consultation provider and will never get involved in other consultation fields. Abiding by its professional conviction, the company shall explore new trend with new creative thoughts and concepts and grow to maturity with clients in the sports field.
Key-solution Co. Ltd. expects to increase its social influence in its sports consultation service and obtain certain payback in return. However, its final target is to sink deeply into sports itself and work for good health and happiness of mankind.
What Key-solutions Co. Ltd pursues is to support instead of guiding clients to establish relations with broad sports men and a communication mode to further influence sports consumption.
It is Key-solution Co. Ltd.'s hope to help clients communicate with the sports crowd, to increase their influence and improve their health and spirit in the following aspects: 1) Products - in form of harmony; 2) Brand - required harmony; 3) Enterprise - organization of harmony; 4) Humanity - social harmony and: 5) Conviction - internal spirit harmony.
In terms of vision, it is Key-solution Co. Ltd.'s expectation to help clients realize their dream in the sports industrial field and bring forth new ideas, work untiringly to pursue improvement so as to forge the company into a world-class leading sports consultation enterprise.

 

STRUGGLES AND VICTORIES
The below-listed questions focuses on America's most-watched sport (American football) and its solutions to issues that since 2004 have prevented the NFL from being as popular as basketball and baseball in the world's most populous country in a a time where an increasingly affluent youth culture is hungry for international sports..

US ASIANS: What are the possible solutions being considered in addressing the prohibitive cost of the uniform - shoulder pads, helmets and cleats – along with most NFL games played at a time when Chinese people are sleeping while failing to highlight an exciting sport that features strength, speed, quickness, agility, skillful ball play, the gladiator-aspects and analytical tactics?
MICHAEL STOKES: Flag football, for the reasons listed above, will remain our favored participatory program and is growing rapidly at the university level. To that point, we plan to expand to Guangzhou in 2010. The time zone differences is a challenge, but that is why our online partnerships are so important. Our live broadcasts of SNF/Sunday Night Football (QQ) and MNF/Monday Night Football (Sina) are also available on VOD (Video on Demand) for 72 hours, so our fans can watch the games at a time that they choose.

US ASIANS: Acknowledging the time zone issues, could a promotion to have Chinese fans personally experience the greatest NFL experience, The Super Bowl, provide invaluable excitement for NFL fans in China? This is shared recognizing that the Super Bowl occurs during Lunar New Year (in 2010, it happens a few days before Chinese New Year), a time where many people in China are traveling to the United States – along with throughout China, Asia and the world during one of the remaining Chinese holidays.
MICHAEL STOKES: There are a finite number of Super Bowl tickets so we have generally allocated this scarce resource to media partners who help us promote the entire season in China. This year we are planning on hosting crews from SMG (Shanghai Media Group) and CCTV in Miami.

Go to Part 4 by clicking HERE
Background Info China Bowl Marketing Telecast Strategic Personnel
NFL Description Current Plans Mayday & NFL Blizz Program Broadcasts Michael Stokes
Did You Know History "Yao Ming Effect CCTV-IMG Agreement Chad Lewis
Struggles & Victories   Current Efforts Partner: Sina.Com Mayday
NFL China Website  Media Partners Flag Football Partner: QQ.Com Zhang Nan
NFL Website  Marketing Media Partners Partner: RenRen Key Solutions

 

 

 

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