Infront Boss Confident About Five-Year Extension With Chinese Basketball
Infront Sports & Media President & CEO Philippe Blatter "shrugged off financial losses" from the firm's seven-year partnership with the Chinese Basketball Association, according to Sun Xiaochen of the CHINA DAILY. Blatter said that he "believes strongly in the league's future." He said, "I think it has the potential to be one of the most successful and valuable sports leagues worldwide in the long run." Since joining up with the CBA in '05, Infront has played "a significant role in marketing the league's commercial rights, optimizing media coverage and developing the league in an effort to raise its int'l appeal." At the end of last season, a cumulative TV audience of more than 700 million had been reached, almost a 130% increase since '05. In September, Infront extended its partnership with the league for an additional five years, and the Beijing Morning News reported it "worth $270M." Blatter said, "I believe the next five years will be the time when we can jointly reap the fruits from all the efforts we made over the past seven years" (CHINA DAILY, 11/26).