Hangzhou, China, Nov. 19, 2015 – The student-athletes participating in the Pac-12 China Game and their university delegations visited the headquarters of Alibaba Group (NYSE: BABA) in Hangzhou to kick off the historic week of activities in China. The Pac-12 China Game presented by Alibaba Group was played on Saturday, Nov. 14 at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai and is the latest event in the Pac-12’s Global Initiative.
Men’s Basketball team of Washington University visited Alibaba Group’s headquarters in Hangzhou, China(file photo).
The game and the two-year partnership with Alibaba Group represent a major first for sports in China. With this game, the Pac-12 became the first U.S. sports league, collegiate or professional, to host a regular season contest in China. The partnership with Alibaba Group will continue into the 2016-2017 academic year and support a second regular season Pac-12 China Game between schools to be announced later this week.
The world’s largest online and mobile commerce company, Alibaba Group is deeply committed to education, especially given that its founder Jack Ma is a former English teacher. Highlighting the visit for the University of Washington and University of Texas student-athletes is an educational seminar hosted at the Alibaba Group campus. The seminar will seek to educate the student-athletes on strategic societal, cultural, and business trends taking place across China, including in the important areas of e-commerce and mobile technology. Specific modules of the seminar will focus on the history of China and the Chinese economy, the economic trends of the youth in China, and a behind-the-scenes look at China’s 11.11 shopping phenomenon.
“This up close look at Chinese culture and business is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the student-athletes,” said Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott. “We truly believe it is experiences like this that have the power to change their lives and open their minds to experiences beyond sports, and beyond their own corners of the world.”
As part of its presenting sponsorship of the Pac-12 China Game, Alibaba Group developed an academic program to help educate student-athletes as they prepare to enter the global economy. Following the trip, Alibaba Group will provide the education module to all Pac-12 institutions to use with their students.
“This game and Alibaba Group’s involvement is consistent with our commitment to bringing the best of the world to China, and showcasing the best of China to the world,” said Alibaba Group Senior Vice President Jim Wilkinson. “This partnership is about so much more than a basketball game. As these student-athletes complete their education and enter the global economy, China – U.S. relations will be central to the future of the world in which they live. We truly believe that this trip will provide these student-athletes with a great chance to learn about China, to make new friends, and to hopefully impact their futures in a positive way.”
After the trip to Hangzhou, the student-athletes and university delegations will return to Shanghai to participate in a series of cultural activities, including visits to city landmarks and a cruise on the Hungpu River to admire the world-famous “Bund.”
Pac-12 China Game Details
• Official Name: Pac-12 China Game
• Universities: University of Washington Huskies vs. University of Texas Longhorns
• Date & Venue: Nov. 14 at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai
• Time & Television: 11 a.m. local Shanghai time and broadcast live in the United States on ESPN on Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. PT / 10 p.m. ET.
• Co-Host in China: Federation of University Sports of China (FUSC), which operates under China’s Ministry of Education
• Presenting Sponsor: The Alibaba Group will serve as the presenting sponsor for the Pac-12 China Game for the next two years.
Fast Facts about Pac-12 Global
• Since starting the initiative in 2011, the Pac-12 has sent two men’s basketball teams (UCLA, Arizona State) and one women’s basketball team (Cal), two all-star women’s volleyball teams, and one all-star men’s basketball team to compete in China.
• In the U.S., the Pac-12 has hosted three U.S.-China Symposiums on Collegiate Sports Development at the 2013, 2014, and 2015 Pac-12 Basketball Tournaments.
• The Pac-12 has a key partnership with the Federation of University Sports of China (FUSC) for the Initiative. The FUSC is China’s national organization for university sports and operates under the Ministry of Education.
• Across Pac-12 institutions (undergrad and graduate), international students make up roughly 14 percent of the student body.
• More than 21,000 students (undergrad and grad) at Pac-12 institutions are from China.
• Basketball is the most popular sport in China with an estimated 300 million playing the sport.
About the Pac-12 Conference
The Conference has a tradition as the “Conference of Champions,” leading the nation in NCAA Championships in 50 of the last 55 years, with 478 NCAA team titles overall. The Conference comprises 12 leading U.S. universities: The University of Arizona, Arizona State University, the University of California-Berkeley, the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), the University of Colorado, the University of Oregon, Oregon State University, Stanford University, the University of Southern California, the University of Utah, the University of Washington and Washington State University. For more information on the Conference’s programs, member institutions, and Commissioner Larry Scott, go to www.pac-12.com/conference.
About Alibaba Group
Alibaba Group’s mission is to make it easy to do business anywhere. The company is the largest online and mobile commerce company in the world in terms of gross merchandise volume. Founded in 1999, the company provides the fundamental technology infrastructure and marketing reach to help businesses leverage the power of the Internet to establish an online presence and conduct commerce with hundreds of millions of consumers and other businesses.
Alibaba Group’s major businesses include
• Taobao Marketplace (www.taobao.com), China’s largest online shopping destination
• Tmall.com (www.tmall.com), China’s largest third-party platform for brands and retailers
• Juhuasuan (www.juhuasuan.com), China’s most popular online group buying marketplace
• Alitrip (www.alitrip.com), a leading online travel booking platform
• AliExpress (www.aliexpress.com), a global online marketplace for consumers to buy directly from China
• Alibaba.com (www.alibaba.com), China’s largest global online wholesale platform for small businesses
• 1688.com (www.1688.com), a leading online wholesale marketplace in China
• Alibaba Cloud Computing (www.aliyun.com), a provider of cloud computing services to businesses and entrepreneurs