Chinese agency SINA piggybacks on soccer to bolster media services

SINA, which claims to be a leading Chinese Internet media and services company, has announced the successful conclusion of its World Cup coverage and the formation of strategic ICP/ISP partnership with Chongqing Mobile to provide value-added fee based information on the SINA Online (SOL) platform.

SINA has been underlining its verticalisation strategies that were fully carried out through its World Cup coverage. During the world cup, the company formed a number of partnerships including the joint publishing of a World Cup Memorial book with Bertelsmann AG, one of the premier media and publishing companies in the world; partnerships with China Mobile and China Unicom to provide World Cup related short messaging services to both fans in China and Chinese fans. It has also forged a partnership with ESPN for an online soccer game on SINA that can be played by soccer fans around China.

SINA claims to have gained many top-tier corporate sponsorships for its World Cup coverage including Nike, Canon, China Mobile and Motorola. SINA's official China Team World Cup Site was ranked by China's Telecom Information News as the number one online destination for Chinese soccer fans with 51 per cent of the total online audience in the country accessing the web site. Site traffic recorded 1.2 billion page views during the tournament, the largest ever for a single sports event in China, the company claims.

With the partnerships with China Mobile and China Unicom, SINA delivered 12 million short messages with up-to-minute World Cup news to mobile short messages subscribers in China. In June, SINA and Chongqing Mobile, the mobile telecom operator in one of the largest cities in China and a subsidiary of China Mobile, announced that they would jointly develop fee based information services through Virtual ISP and an SOL Chongqing destination Site. SINA and Chongqing Mobile will tap their respective advantages - SINA's brand, user base and content resources, China Mobile's CMNET network as well as Chongqing Mobile's local resources - to provide Internet and mobile telecom users with novel, efficient and integrated Internet and wireless value-added fee based services.

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