As Sir Alex Ferguson steps down after one of the most successful football managerial careers of all time, the numbers machine is kicking into gear – trophies, win-loss records, you name it.
The thing is, Manchester United FC is a statistician’s nightmare. A famous Guiness beer ad from a few years back said that 98 per cent of Man U fans had never been to Old Trafford, the club’s stadium. It’s not clear where that little factoid came from.
But one thing is for sure: in terms of its fans, Man U under Fergie has become one of the world’s leading emerging markets football clubs. Continue reading »
The state-controlled group was one of golf’s earliest backers in China and is today one of its biggest sponsors. And Guan’s achievement in becoming the youngest-ever player to make the cut in the Masters has come only three decades after Citic executives helped to introduce golf into China. Continue reading »
Chinese sportswear company Qiaodan has long been seen as a copycat for its use of a name and imagery connected to basketball legend Michael Jordan. But in the domain of trademark law, it is nothing if not original in an increasingly bitter fight with Jordan. Continue reading »
NBA half time usually consists of a cheerleader show and an array of random fans trying to score an impossible shot. But when Oakland’s Golden State Warriors took a break in their home game against the New York Knicks last week, the viewers got a very different spectacle: a Bollywood performance with colorful Indian dancers and singers.
The show, organised for the third consecutive year, fits into the India strategy of the team’s vice chairman, Vivek Ranadive. In five to ten years, he wants to make basketball the second sport in India. Continue reading »
Cricket is a big deal in India, as is broadcasting the matches and score updates. But showing the action is one thing – what about reporting the score? Can that be protected?
Apparently so. Star India, Rupert Murdoch’s Asian flagship, has exclusive media rights to broadcast Indian international matches and has just won a case in Delhi’s High Court, banning others from providing live match updates. Continue reading »
If there is one thing that China’s smaller cities do not lack, it’s sportswear stores. The average fourth-, fifth- and sixth-tier Chinese city – everyone defines their tiers differently – has a high street with multiple Chinese sportswear retailers lined up in a row. Do these towns really need more running shoes?
Adidas certainly thinks so and its latest greater China sales – up 15 per cent in 2012 – seem to indicate that it’s right. The German sportswear brand, currently number two by sales behind Nike, has expanded into 350 more Chinese cities in the past 18 months, to 900 in total. Of the 800 stores opened last year, 400 were in lower-tier cities. The goal is to have 1,400 cities buying Adidas by 2015. Continue reading »
Air Asia has moved its headquarters to Jakarta. Chief executive Tony Fernandes talks to the FT’s Ben Bland about running a low cost airline in southeast Asia and about owning sports teams – the English Premier League football team Queen’s Park Rangers and the Caterham Formula 1 racing team.
Lee Myung-bak’s approval ratings remain painfully low as he prepares to step down as South Korean president next month. But he might hope for a belated popularity boost in 2018 when his country hosts the Winter Olympics – one of a series of major international events that South Korea won during his term.
The past week has given an early taste of the festival that awaits in five years’ time, as the South Korean ski resort of Pyeongchang hosted the Special Olympics World Games. Continue reading »
In the latest round, Arsenal have just announced that they will play a friendly match against a national team in July, marking the team’s return to the country after a 31-year absence. Continue reading »
When Slovene partisan fighters needed skis to battle the occupying Nazi forces in World War II, there was but one solution: make them themselves, secretly, from wood. Some 70 years later, as a result of this initial, brave determination, the village of Begunje, nestled in the Alpine foothills about 35 miles north-west of Ljubljana, is the unlikely setting for the world’s largest ski plant.
Elan, the Slovene winter-sports company, produces 500,000 pairs of skis annually in Begunje, roughly one in seven of all skis worldwide – with 300,000, or 8.5 per cent of the global market, under its own name. Continue reading »
How goes the health of the world’s most lucrative cricket tournament? Bubbly, at least if Pepsi’s decision to spend $72m to become the Indian Premier League’s “title” sponsor for the next five years is any indication. Continue reading »
After more than three years of fully open access, we are taking the step of asking our readers to register on FT.com to read our articles. Beyondbrics will still be free but we'd like to know a bit more about you, our readers. Other FT blogs (including Alphaville) already do the same thing. Registration is active on beyondbrics from May 6.
Many of you are already registered on FT.com, or are subscribers - in which case, if you are logged in to the site you will not notice any difference. Just carry on as before.
For those of you not yet registered, it's a simple process which only takes a few moments.
Reading beyondbrics articles will NOT deduct from your free monthly quota of stories on FT.com.