Manchester United have signed a partnership deal with Alibaba – the Chinese e-commerce company.
Under the arrangement, aimed at raising the Premier League side’s profile in the world’s second-largest economy, Alibaba will provide club content on its online video platform Youku.com.
The deal will also lead to the creation of a Manchester United store on Alibaba’s business-to-consumer platform Tmall.com, the club said.
Manchester United Group managing director Richard Arnold said: “We are always looking for new ways to engage with fans there and this partnership with Alibaba enables them to connect with the club directly through one of China’s most popular video streaming platforms.”
The club, which already has an established fan base in the country, said that the deal gave it access to approximately 700 million Alibaba customers across various platforms.
Youku viewers, it said, would be able to view academy and club tour matches in addition to women’s games.
Broadcast rights deals prevent the showing of Premier League and other first team fixtures.
Alibaba president Michael Evans added: “Manchester United is one of the most popular and successful football teams in the world, with a sizeable and passionate fan base in China.
“We share the same goal, which is to provide fans with one-of-a-kind online content consumption and shopping that leverages the latest technology.”
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