China Football Summit 2016 hosted in Chongming, Shanghai


1The grand China Football Summit 2016 was hosted in Chongming Convention Centre on May 26-27th, organized by Pioneer Sports and co-organized by Chongming Sports Bureau. In recent years, China pays high attention to the cause of football development, brought to agenda was the target of developing sports, building a sports powerhouse through reviving football in the first place. Chongming has got its advantages in ecological environment, football pitches and Grassroot football featured by Genbao Football Academy. Almost every school owns excellent football pitches. Genbao Football Academy took up its quarters in Chongming in 2000 where 6 players now playing in China National Team like Wu Lei and 40 players now playing in CSL were nurtured; quite a few footballers started to be trained in Chongming and then play in all over the places of China and the world. These footballers lay a stable foundation for Chongming football development. The success of CFS 2016 isn’t possible without the great support of sponsors: PANINI S.P.A, DODICI, Shenzhen Sage Opto Co., Ltd and Chateau Mirefleurs. 


As the Vice Chairman of Shanghai Football Association, Mr. Shen Lei delivered the opening address, mentioned that Shanghai holds a strategic position in China football industry with indelible contribution to China football in history where a lot of outstanding coaches sprang up like Xu Genbao and football players like Wu Lei. And now Shanghai has 2 teams in Chinese top league: Shanhai SIPG FC and Shanghai Shenhua FC. Shanghai still needs future efforts while Chongming, as a football county, sets a great example.


In the first session of the speech, Mr. Gong Yaofei, Party Secretary of Chongming Sports Bureau, delivered a lecture about “The exploration and practice with building a football county.” Through research it is decided that based on Chongming’s established strength in developing football, government and market should play their own parts to popularize campus football, develop grass root football, propel football industry, co-build a football county and offer experiences that can be generalized and copied for Shanghai football reform and development, especially in the front of nurturing youth football players. Shanghai football industry is bound to reach new high. In July 2015, the plan to make a football county was initiated in Chongming.



Mr. Xu Genbao shared “Youth football talent nurturing: a model set by Chongming and professionalization of its players” as keynote speaker. He is well known across China, made great contribution to the development of China football and training for youth players. About setting up Chongming Model, he said: “to build up a sophisticated academy is not as simple as pooling some money, buying a piece of pitch and erecting buildings. We have a catchword: sharpen a sword for 10 years. However, it is always easier said than done. Many people laughed at me, even myself had no absolute confidence I could do it. Many fellows in Shanghai didn’t even know what Genbao Football Academy was doing these years. Our goal is to create a “Manchester United FC in China” and as many football stars as possible. Our trait is always sticking to the techniques. Xu Genbao is now over 70 years old, his love for China football and spirit of craftsman touch upon the heart of every audience.


September 2015 Alibaba made a strategy to enter sports industry. Daniel Tao, Sports Events Operation Director of  Alisports, gave an excellent address in the conference. Earlier, Alibaba signed a contract of 8 year title sponsorship with FIFA World Cup, which was a highlight in China Football Summit 2016. The vision of Alisports is to create a foundation in China sports industry. And a foundation requires much fundamental work. When talking about the strength of Alisports, Daniel Tao unveiled it was the digital marketing of Alibaba that FIFA appreciates.

3Chongming holds a critical position in youth training of China. For further profound football development in China, youth training is foundation. In the morning of May 26th, a panel was launched centered on experience sharing from Chinese top youth training institutions in which David Lopez, Executive Vice President and Managing Director for Asia SOXNA; Kevin Anderson, Technical Director R&F Soccer School; Cliff Hegan, COO ONexperience as moderator talked about their insights. When asked about what are the factors impeding the progress of China football, especially youth players compared to Japan and Korea, one impressive answer from Mr. Lopez is that China lacks proper competition systems, some cities did well though, such as Shanghai. But it’s far from enough. Especially according to our scheme, it still takes more efforts and time to accomplish; we still need thousands of good coaches in China. So in the first place we have to get coaches well trained. Kevin Anderson mentioned, on top of that, the cultivation of football culture is also necessary. Youngsters in Europe as well as South America, they grow up surrounded by football. Their fathers, and even mothers, play football, watch games with them on the spot or on TV, so they are drowned in football culture.




4Several Premier League clubs attended China Football Summit 2016, such as Liverpool FC, Manchester United FC, Arsenal FC, Manchester City FC, Norwich City FC and Southampton FC. In the afternoon of May 26th, a panel was launched themed “A new era for Premier League in China”. Participants are Mr. Yu Lingxiao, Vice President of Super Sports; Mr. Jason Zhen, Vice President of IDG Capital; Mr. Andrew Collins, CEO of Mailman Group. And in the beginning Mr. Collins raised a question for Mr. Yu Lingxiao about the status quo and vision for the future of Super Sports. Mr. Yu answered: for any good content, even top leagues like Premier League, a good promotion among audience and end users is very necessary. Our broadcast of Premier League content in mainland China is most diverse in terms of channels and methods. Super Sports serves fans and the most important is to serve fans, with no doubt; when asked about the support granted to Super Sports by IDG to buy Premier League media rights, Mr. Jason Zhen said: engaging with Super Sports is of foresight through which we can seize the pulse of China sports and entertainment industry. We formerly tried to get hold of that through looking at the trend of the development of American and European professional sporting events. On another note, we are also looking at good teams and the value they can generate. We got to Premier League media rights in China in 2007 and started to invest in Super Sports in 2010, our investment pattern is relatively simple. There’s huge potential and possibility for paid contents in China while now most of them are free.



5When interviewed about the significance of playing host to China Football Summit 2016, David Zhang said: Pioneer Sports aims to erect a mutually networking platform where businesses can interact, communicate and share. Pioneer Sports is a professional sports services and strategic management company. We are committed to build a platform for China's football and abroad, while providing football, basketball, other sports-related strategies, technical consulting services, operations for clubs and organizations. We are also working on the popularization and development of Chinese youth football, and actively organize public or semi-public football activities in partnership with regional football authorities.



6On May 27th showing up are many figures of weight: Mr. Victoriano Melero, Head of the President Cabinet and Deputy CEO of Fédération Française de Football; Mr. Romuald Nguyen, Head of institutional and international affairs of Fédération Française de Football; Richard Lamb, International Business Director of FC Internazionale Milano; Andrew Markham, Head of Global Partnership Sales, Liverpool FC. They had a great communication with attendees and shared their proposals to China football development. Mr. Romuald Nguyen spoke of France hosting over 1 million matches every year which is the equivalent of 2 games every minute. France has 2.2 million registered memberships with 5 million players in total, 27,000 courts and 102 competition areas. All of the matches are operated by 400 thousand volunteers from all over the globe. France is the only nation that has the record of winning 5 major world men’s football events: Olympic Games, FIFA World Cup, U17, FIFA Confederations Cup and U20. During talks with Party Secretary of Chongming Sports Bureau, Fédération Française de Football expressed their resolution to support China football, expect more partners to be involved including exchange visits of football players, coach training, imparting training programs.


7Mr. Andrew Markham lectured around the topic--Liverpool FC in China: Building Relationships with Partners and Fans. “Liverpool is part of the world community, and won 5 championships in UEFA. Besides our success in football games, we also have created a strong fan base. We have many fans in China and Asia. We are now building more football pitches. Our built-out Anfield Stadium can accommodate 4,500 people which is our iconic one. Our core philosophy is ambition, commitment, dignity and unity.”


Subsequently, the panel about digital media and football marketing was on. Panelists are Mr. Tian Hua, Deputy Editor-in-Chief; Marko Kasic, Founder and CEO of FundLife International; Lewis Hannam, Managing Director of Red Lantern Digital Media; Li Jiang, Co-founder and Executive Director of Yutang Sports. Each of them is outstanding figure in their own areas. Mr. Li Jiang asked Mr. Tian Hua how the integration of television and new media can facilitate the advance of football industry. Tian Hua answered: Netease is working toward mobile terminals. Every day 30 million people view Netease content via mobile terminals. And television and new media must integrate. Television is high definition with the feeling of immersion; new media is more convenient, portable and its information is more first-hand. When asked about how sponsors better engage with audience of CSL, Mr. Lewis Hannam answered: traditional media has its limits while new media doesn’t. From my point of view on CSL, LeSports is a very good beginning. Because it makes more people access to the games anytime and anywhere. With regards to digital media strategy, there is a lot to learn from Premier League for CSL and CSL clubs. Digital Media in UK is a competition between players with clubs. For example, next season tickets have sold out, what is the reason? Because we had a good relationship with clubs, they use digital media reuniting us as one family. They know expect football our fans know what to do, we have other hobbies. 


8Another highlight is visiting well renowned Genbao Football Academy organized by Pioneer Sports. Genbao Football Academy is located in the southern Chongming Dongping National Forest Park, covers an area of 70 mu with 3.5 standard football pitches, 1 indoor football pitch paved by artificial turf and football hotels of 7,000 square meters. Genbao Football Academy nurtured many excellent back-up talents, contributed a great deal to China football. Attendees from overseas of football clubs, agents, scouts all complimented the skills of these little young footballers, and at the same time, showed great interest to have more in-depth cooperation with Chinese top youth training institutions. Thereafter, all visitors took a group picture which brought to conclusion the success of China Football Summit 2016.






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