Le Sports acquires stake in Lagardere Sports Asian Business
Le Sports and Lagardère Sports announced today that Le Sports has successfully acquired a 20% stake in World Sport Group (WSG), underscoring the Chinese firm’s long-term plans to expand the company’s business beyond digital media rights into the full spectrum of international sports marketing. This partnership with China’s most influential eco-sports company also further reinforces Lagardère Sports’ position as the market leader in Asia in the business of sports.
Lagardère Sports is Asia’s largest sports marketing, media and event management company. In September this year, Lagardère’s existing sports marketing agencies, including World Sport Group, were unified under a single commercial brand: Lagardère Sports.
As the exclusive marketing partner of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), the agency has managed the commercial and media rights for AFC’s biggest football events across Asia since 1992. It also organises some of the region’s top events including the SMBC Singapore Open, Emirates Australian Open, and the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global.
With over 20 years of experience in the business of sports on the Asian continent, Lagardère Sports is able to deliver a full range of services for sports rights holders, brands, governments, athletes, sporting venues, and media networks.
Le Sports’ collaboration with one of the world’s leading sports marketing agencies signifies the Chinese firm’s concerted strategy to expand their reach across the global business of sports. The partnership also allows Lagardère Sports to seize the opportunities present in China’s digital media industry that is going through an accelerated phase of growth – fuelled by a rapidly growing audience of digitally-immersed sporting fans.
With Le Sports on board as a shareholder of its Asian business– in addition to the world’s largest single-brand advertising agency, Dentsu, the international sports marketing agency will now have access to an extensive network of resources through its relationship with Le Sports that will further strengthen its business capabilities.
“Together with the greatest companies in the world, we invest in the world’s top sports company with three expectations. First, it is to avail ourselves of the professional experience of a top sports company and promote the rapid growth of China’s sports industry; second, it is to bring more Chinese local brands to the sports field with Asia’s top events; and third, it is to inject more Internet thinking and operation models into top international events,” said Lei Zhenjian, CEO of Le Sports.
“Le Sports’ dramatic growth in China over the last two years is unprecedented in many economies and is a clear indicator that digital media will transform the way people watch and engage with their favourite sports,” said Seamus O’Brien, the Executive Chairman of Lagardère Sports, Asia. “We are very excited to partner this powerful Chinese conglomerate, and hope to provide a new generation of Le Sports digital consumers with increased access to premier Asian sporting events and fuel a greater love for Asian sport across China.”