Chinese Football Association Super League - 2018 Commercial Performance Review White paper

Compiled jointly by Deloitte and Chinese Super League

The Report

Chinese Football Association Super League (CSL) - 2018 Commercial Performance Review White paper was jointly conducted by Deloitte Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) Industry, Deloitte Financial Advisory and CSL. With the business growth of Chinese football industry, the report mainly focuses on the development history of CSL in the past fifteen years. And the review provides thorough studies of football fans and identifies the new challenges that CSL faces during their transition period. The report covers insights of CSL and involves broad views for main stakeholders to support the future growth of the League and Chinese football industry.


Viewpoints / key findings

Football industry

  • The domestic sports industry is booming, the added value of China's sports industry will reach nearly one trillion in 2020.
  • The World Cup and other prime content IP were sought after by capital, and Chinese capital became the biggest sponsor of the World Cup in Russia.
  • Football is still the biggest IP in the domestic sports market. It is estimated that the domestic sponsorship market will reach 4.24 billion RMB in 2022; the sponsorship of football will reach 2.27 billion RMB, accounting for 54% of the sports sponsorship.

15th anniversary of CSL

  • The historical data of CSL has been continuously refreshed. The number of spectators per game, the aggregated number of viewership, and the total revenue of CSL reached a higher level.
  • The league is getting more and more exciting. In the last five seasons, the gap among the tier 1 clubs of the League has been narrowing, and it’s more and more competitive for top clubs qualified in AFC Championship League.
  • The quality of CSL competition has increased. In the past six years, the overall performance of the Super League in the AFC Champions League has improved steadily, and more leading international footballers playing in CSL.
  • The international impact of CSL has increased. More and more international media have broadcasted the league and provided greater exposure platform for league sponsors; Meanwhile, CSL started strategic collaboration with top European leagues.
  • The record breaking viewership. The length of broadcast time is more than any other football matches, with the highest viewership. A new change of media landscape that digital media has replaced traditional media with higher viewership.

Football fans research

  • The popularity of the sport and loyalty of the fans continue to increase.
  • Digital media and OTT have become major channels for Chinese fans.

Business development

  • The diversity of exposure ways of CSL have been recognised from sponsors and supported by fans.
  • In 2018, the right value of Chinese Super League upgraded to 11 billion RMB for 10 years’ contract. The sponsorship revenue of CSL has grown by more than 30% in the past 15 years, and the annual commercial revenue in 2018 achieved 465 million RMB.

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