The International Olympic Committee, or IOC, on Dec. 15 launched its first online store on Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.'s online platform Tmall, as part of the committee's global licensing strategy which aims to connect with fans seeking official Olympic-branded merchandise.
The new Olympic store will initially be available to Chinese fans on Tmall but is expected to eventually be open to fans outside of China, according to a Dec. 14 news release.
As part of the IOC Global Licensing Strategy, consumers may choose an array of products from three Olympic core licensing collections: the Olympic Games Collection, which offers products ranging from fashion apparel and other memorabilia related to the upcoming Beijing 2022 and Tokyo 2020 Games; the Olympic Heritage Collection, which offers products with art and design elements from previous Games editions; and the Olympic Collection, geared toward a young, active audience through branded products, mainly sports equipment and toys.
In 2017, Alibaba entered into a long-term partnership with the IOC to become its official cloud services and e-commerce platform services partner as well as a founding partner of the Olympic Channel. Alibaba became the first company to make a long-term commitment to the IOC through 2028 and the first Chinese company to commit to the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.
During the 2018 Winter Games, Alibaba housed an Olympic pavilion in PyeongChang, South Korea, where it previewed some of the data, e-commerce and security functionality its technological infrastructure will bring to future Olympics. The Chinese e-commerce giant, in cooperation with Chinese Olympic broadcaster, also streamed the 2016 Games in Rio via its video-sharing platform, Youku.