Japanese kimonos are used to promote Japanese culture for the upcoming Olympics; Twitch relaunches its sports channel and introduces a dedicated sports category; and the Washington Wizards partner with a computer-generated Japanese influencer to engage with international audiences. For these stories and more, check out the Red Phoenix Global Sports Update:

6-year Kimono Project for Tokyo Games Neatly Wrapped up

 A 6-year kimono project for the Tokyo Summer Olympic Games was completed last week. Imagine One World, a Japanese organization that aims to “send a message of peace and friendship” through kimono, has created 213 sets of unique and handmade kimonos for countries participating in the Tokyo Olympic Games. The project organizer released a video on the night that the Tokyo Games were initially scheduled to start.

Twitch Creates New Streaming Channel Exclusively for Sports Content

Streaming platform Twitch has launched a category dedicated entirely to sports. It first explored streaming traditional sports in March during English Premier League soccer matches. Now the streaming service will provide audiences with sporting channels that stream games from a variety of sports, including the NBA, the EPL’s Arsenal FC, UFC, and ESPN’s House of Highlights.

Dignitas Enters Chinese Market with HUYA Streaming Deal

Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment-owned esports organization, Dignitas, has signed a streaming partnership deal with the Chinese live-streaming platform Huya. It is their first step into the Chinese esports market. The streaming begun on August 1st. Huya has established a multi-year deal with Team Secret and has extended its partnership with Team Liquid through 2022.

Wizards Extend Japanese Outreach by Partnering with CGI Influencer

The Washington Wizards have agreed to a deal with 1Sec Inc. in Japan to put virtual influencer Liam Nikuro inside the NBA bubble for virtual experiences in Orlando. Liam is a computer-generated character who has gained popularity as a social media influencer. The Wizards have been creating dedicated content that resonates with the Japanese audience through social campaigns, digital advertising, and future brand partnerships aiming to develop the Wizards’ fanbase in Japan and expand the brand’s global reach.

KBO to Begin Taking Draft Applications from Overseas-based South Korean Players

The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) announced it will begin accepting applications for its annual amateur draft from overseas-based South Korean players. The deadline to apply is on August 22, and player tryouts are scheduled to begin September 7.   

NBA Taps Verizon to Stream Games in VR

The NBA and Verizon Media’s Yahoo Sports have renewed their marketing agreement. The new multi-year partnership will provide virtual reality experiences for fans who cannot attend the NBA games in Orlando.  The renewed deal will also allow Yahoo Sports to engage fans through fantasy and sports betting.

F1 draws 13.6 million UK viewers for First Three Races in 2020

Based on analysis from Nielsen Sports Fan Insight, Formula One saw over 13.63 million viewers in the UK for the first three races of the 2020 season, with an increase of over 758,900 viewers from the previous year. Stats also showed that 32% of the UK population is willing to watch F1 on TV when racing resumes, highlighting the trend of audience’s preference to watch sports remotely through TV or digital platforms.

Leicester City Score Thailand Tourism Shirt Sponsorship for 2020/21

English professional football club Leicester City and King Power, a Thai-based travel retail group, announce a season-long partnership with the Tourism Authority of Thailand to support the country’s recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. The “Thailand Smiles With You” slogan will appear on shirts of the team’s players throughout the 2020/2021 Premier League season to promote Thai tourism to the world.

Global Ad Spend for Esports to Rise to $844m in 2020

A recent study has shown that global brand advertising and sponsorship spend on esports is expected to rise 9.9% worldwide to $844m this year despite the global recession due to the coronavirus crisis. Esports has been drawing in 1 billion viewers worldwide, with Asia leading with 38% of total viewers.

Zamst Announces Trae Young as New Global Brand Ambassador

Zamst, a global athletic brace and support brand, has partnered with Atlanta Hawks’ point guard, Trae Young as its latest brand ambassador. Trae Young will now be seen sporting the popular A2-DX brace to prevent injuries. Zamst’s former ambassadors include Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry, Anaheim Ducks’ Ryan Getzlaf, and Denver Broncos’ Von Miller.

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