Chinese Football Association Super League (CSL) – 2019 Annual Review of Commercial Performance

Jointly released by Deloitte and Chinese Super League

Chinese Football Association Super League (CSL) - 2019 Annual Review of Commercial Performance was jointly conducted by Deloitte Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) Industry, Deloitte Financial Advisory and CSL. With an overview of Chinese sport and football industry’s development, the report included a review on CSL’s performance on the pitch, broadcast and commercial development in the last season. And the report provides thorough studies of football fans personas. The report covers insights of CSL’s main stakeholders for a joint effort to develop the League as the top competition platform to increase the performance of Chinese professional football.

Viewpoints / key findings

Chinese Sport Industry
  • The industry is growing slower in the short run due to macro factors. It is estimated that the industry has a marginal growth of 1.35 trillion yuan in 2020, 1.28% of the GDP.  Under this premise, optimizing the industry structure will be the focus of future development, especially the areas like stadiums, services, competitions, training and other high value-added.
  • Compared with other sports, football is leading in media coverage and interaction among social media. As the core IP in domestic leagues, the CSL maintains high commercial performance.
  • Policy stimulus, technology integration and consumer demand will drive the recovery of sports segment industry from the short-term negative impacts caused by Coronavirus.

Note1:All data collected by Dec 2019 and the forecast number does not include the impact of Coronavirus.

CSL Review
  • The CSL ranked the best league in Asia.
  • The 2019 season saw viewership figures reach about 700 million, 51% via digital media. 
  • Pay-per-view is increasing.
  • CSL has put efforts in promoting the brand by, for example, hosting "Beyond Love" charity events. Sponsors are look forward to seeing more practices to boost activation.

CSL Fans National Survey
  • Men are the core group among CSL fans. The majority of fans are aged 25-40, married and procreated, and are generally well educated.
  • The CSL’s fanbase is becoming more engaged.
  • Increased exposure, star power and expanded content is attracting casual fans to the game.
  • Brand awareness continues to strengthen; association with the CSL is boosting sponsor recognition indicating significant opportunities for further commercialization.

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