Fosun deepens equestrian commitment with FEI deal

One of China’s largest private-sector conglomerates is building a stake in the world of equestrian sport and backing up its activity with sponsorship and event-ownership initiatives.

In a sign of things to come, Fosun – one of China’s most acquisitive companies in recent years – is to become title sponsor of the International Equestrian Federation’s ‘Best Athlete Award 2018’.

The Fosun Best Athlete Award, alongside the Longines Rising Star, Best Groom, Against All Odds and FEI Solidarity awards, will be presented at the FEI Awards 2018 Gala presented by Longines in Manama, Bahrain on 20 November.

The equestrian sports sector was added to the Fosun industry portfolio in early 2018 following its collaboration with the Longines China Tour Beijing event in 2017.

Xiaodong Wen, global partner of Fosun, said that the company was keen to extend its cooperation with the international equestrian community “following the successful launch of the CEID (China Equestrian International Development) Europe League in the Netherlands and Belgium, and the Longines China Tour of Beijing Great Wall”.

In January 2018, Fosun became the majority shareholder of CEID, which supports the Olympic Programme of the Chinese Equestrian Association and seeks international expertise and cooperation.

According to the FEI, China is a key equestrian destination with 400,000 active riders, with one in 1,000 fans riding regularly and 300,000 people directly employed in horse-related sports.

International competitions are also growing fast in the country, with the number of international events, going from just one in 2009 to 17 in 2017.