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NBA China links up with Chinese fintech firm X Financial

NBA China has inked its first partnership with a personal finance firm, in a new deal with Chinese fintech brand X Financial.

Under the multi-year deal, X Financial will become the Official Marketing Partner of NBA China.

Starting from this season, X Financial and its brands – such as Xiaoying Wealth Management and Xiaoying Card Loan – will gain exposure across NBA China’s media and marketing platforms.

X Financial will also hold rights to host NBA players and legends in China, and invite fans to co-branded mass participation events.

Last month, X Financial hosted the X Financial Basketball Club, a fan interactive event in Beijing where fans could win tickets to this month’s NBA Fan Day in Shanghai.

Also this month, X Financial will be visible at both of this season’s NBA China Games, when the Dallas Mavericks and Philadelphia 76ers play preseason fixtures in Shanghai and Shenzhen.

In 2004, the NBA became the first US sports league to play games in China. After this year’s NBA China Games, 17 NBA teams will have played 26 games in China.

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The partnership is understood to be a three-season deal, from 2019-20 to 2021-22, and builds on AXA’s existing Global Partner agreement with Liverpool.

The deal is the largest ever sponsorship investment in UK women’s sport and comes less than a year after the league went fully professional in September 2018.

Under the five-year global deal, Oppo will become the first Official Smartphone Partner of The Championships, Wimbledon, as the event is officially known.

US sportswear brand Nike is paying about $7.5m (€6.7m) per year to sponsor China’s League of Legends Pro League (LPL), according to industry sources.