Alibaba Promises To ‘Transform And Upgrade’ Olympic Games

Olympics Tokyo 2020

Chinese tech giant Alibaba has an Olympic sponsorship deal that’s worth hundreds of millions of dollars, and the company said it plans to use its technology to change and improve the way the Olympics operate, according to a report by the Associated Press.

The company wants to bring its technological know-how to not only organizers and fans, but broadcasters as well. The sponsorship deal runs for 12 years, started in 2017 and runs through the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

“We are not just putting the rings alongside our logo,” Alibaba Chief Marketing Officer Chris Tung said in an interview at the Winter Youth Olympics in Lausanne, Switzerland, home city of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). “We also like to leverage our technology to help transform and upgrade the games. That is always what we have in mind by being a sponsor.”

Alibaba’s cloud computing technology is going to be fully accessible to broadcasters at the games in Tokyo. In 2022 in Beijing, merchandising and ticketing will see more of a digital shift.

“We expect Paris and L.A. will be a total explosion of what has been tested and what has been discussed with the previous games,” Tung said.

Alibaba now works with both the IOC and FIFA, and it wants to not only help with the financing of the events, but improve them overall. Cybersecurity is also “an absolute must,” Tung said.

Alibaba will have its first test with the IOC at the two-week Winter Youth Olympics in Tokyo. Alibaba’s cloud servers will be available for broadcasters to use and they should be faster and more efficient than previous undertakings.

“Fans and athletes will experience a totally different Olympic Games with a lot of support from cloud technology,” Tung said.

Tung said that he saw long lines replaced by delivery in hotels for merchandise. 

“We are excited about the opportunity,” Tung said.