Superstar Kobe Bryant Teams up with Alibaba


kobe inc

Alibaba has struck up a new deal that will be hitting China soon, and this deal has been struck with Kobe Bryant, an NBA star from the USA. Alibaba and Bryant are starting their deal with the release of “Kobe Bryant’s Muse”, a video documentary that showcases Kobe’s life. The film is going to be released via Tmall’s Major Box. The film looks at Bryant’s life, his career and philosophies in life.

When asked about the deal, Jack Ma Yun, stated:

“Kobe is an innovative entrepreneur who has established a legacy that extends far beyond the basketball court, and is someone who can bring positive impact to the players and fans of basketball in China.”

Kobe Bryant is expected to play his last season of NBA basketball with the Los Angeles Lakers this coming October. That is why Bryant spent so much time setting up his company, Kobe Inc, which focuses on sports in 2013.

The deal with Alibaba has many other aspects to it as well. Including, Kobe Bryant working with Alibaba Pictures to develop more of his branded products and distribute these through online shopping platforms. Tmall and Taobao Marketplace have more than 350 million shoppers, all of which Kobe Inc merchandise will be available to.

In an interview with ESPN, Bryant stated:

“We want to own and help grow brands and ideas that challenge and redefine the sports industry while inspiring.”

Kobe Bryant Social Media

There is no doubt that social media is a huge part of the online shopping world throughout China. That is why Kobe Inc will be partnering with Sina in order to create a new platform for the star. Currently, on Sina Weibo, Kobe Bryant has around 3 million followers.

The idea with Sina is that they create a platform that not only talks of Kobe Bryant, but also inspires others. They are using the theme “Star, Media, Platform” business model in working with Bryant. The President of Kobe Inc, Andrea Fairchild stated:

“As Kobe Inc looks to expand in China, the partnership with Alibaba Group and Sina will help us to reach a vast number of Chinese youth who are looking to reach their full potential and be inspired by others.”

Success in China

Bryant and Ma hit off their relationship back in 2009, when Bryant visited Alibaba. They both have similar ideals about business and how this should be fun for all those involved. It is this common bonding that helped the two to form a lasting relationship. However, there are those who are pointing out that notoriously NBA stars have not always done well in China. Take for example, the social media disaster with NBA Miami Heat player Dwayne Wade’s tour of China. It resulted in many angry Chinese customers, along with apologies having to be issued.

The good news is that Kobe Bryant has one of the largest online shopping platforms on their side in order to help them navigate the Chinese online shopping world.

About Author

Social Brand Watch (SBW) is a collection of experts in digital, mobile and social media in China. SBW was created to complement Resonance's China Social Branding Report, a bi-weekly report focusing on modern marketing methods of the world's top brands in China.

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