The owners of Inter Milan shut down their Chinese Super League team; Japan plans to remove the entry ban on foreign athletes this March; and Fanatics expands into China. For these stories and more, check out the Red Phoenix Global Sports Update:

Suning Holdings Group Shuts Down Chinese Super League Champions, Jiangsu F.C. 

The owners of Inter Milan, Suning Holdings Group, have ceased operations of Chinese Super League champions, Jiangsu F.C.  Suning is looking for other companies to invest in the Chinese club, and the team could potentially miss out on qualification for the new season unless new funds are acquired. The decision also affects the club’s women’s team, which won the Chinese Women’s Super League in 2019, as well as its youth teams. Full Story  Sports Pro Media (03/01)

Japan to Admit Olympic Athletes as Early as March 

Japan intends to remove the entry ban on foreign athletes participating in the Tokyo Olympics once the country’s emergency declaration order is lifted on March 7th. Olympic athletes will not be subject to the two-week self-isolation requirement, allowing them to prepare for the games. Instead, they will be ordered not to go beyond their lodgings or sports venues. Full Story  Nikkei Asia (02/27)

Fanatics Expands into Chinese Market via Hillhouse Capital Partnership 

Fanatics, the sports merchandise retailer, is expanding into China via a venture with private equity firm, Hillhouse Capital Group. The joint venture, called Fanatics China, will be based in Shanghai and allows the e-commerce powerhouse to open up its sports licensing business in the country for its 300-plus global partners, including Major League Baseball and the National Football League. Full Story  Reuters (02/25)

FreeSports Secures Two-year Deal with RDA for Afghanistan and Zimbabwe Cricket

U.K. broadcaster, FreeSports, has signed a deal with RDA to broadcast all tests, ODIs, and T20 fixtures involving Afghanistan and Zimbabwe over the next three years. FreeSports will begin its coverage with the first two test matches between Afghanistan and Zimbabwe on March 2nd. The deal will see the first-ever instance of a test match not involving England being broadcast on free-to-air T.V. in the U.K. Full Story  Sports Business (03/01)

Manchester United Grow MUTV Reach in Africa with StarTimes Deal

Manchester United has partnered with Chinese media company, StarTimes, to distribute MUTV to subscribers in over 30 countries across sub-Saharan African, representing the biggest agreement of its kind by Manchester United in the region. Viewers in countries including Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, and Ghana will receive exclusive Manchester United content 24 hours a day via StarTimes platforms. Full Story Sports Pro Media (02/26)

Team Great Britain Announces New Partnership with GoDaddy

Team Great Britain has announced a new Official Partnership with GoDaddy ahead of the Olympic Games in Tokyo. The brand has been appointed as the official domain name, website builder, and web hosting partner for the team during the rescheduled Summer Olympics. As part of the deal, Olympic boxing medal hopeful, Cheavon Clarke, will showcase his Level Up Nation brand via a new GoDaddy-powered web platform. Full Story  Sports Industry Group (03/01)

James Wiseman and Alex Caruso Sign Shoe Deals with ANTA 

Los Angeles Lakers guard, Alex Caruso, and Golden State Warriors rookie, James Wiseman, have recently agreed to shoe deals with Chinese sneaker company, ANTA. Wiseman is the third Warrior to sign with ANTA, joining Klay Thompson and Kevon Looney. Both Caruso and Wiseman will wear ANTA’s yet-to-be-revealed Project Z-Up sneaker line. Full Story  NBC Sports (02/27)

DHL Express Becomes Mumbai Indians ‘Principal Sponsor’

Indian Premier League (IPL) champions, the Mumbai Indians, have named logistics giant, DHL Express, as their new principal sponsor. Under the agreement, DHL’s logo will replace the Indian general entertainment channel colors on the back of the Twenty20 cricket team’s playing shirts. This partnership marks DHL Express’s first-ever cricket sponsorship. DHL also has high-profile deals in place across several other sports, including Formula One and Premier League soccer club Manchester United. Full Story  The Hindu Business Line (02/11)

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