Le Sports, the sports business of Letv.com, announced a strategic investment to acquire a 20% stake in World Sport Group.
With this investment, Le Sports will become one of the three major shareholders of WSG, alone with France's Lagardere Groupe and Japan's Dentsu. The total amount spent on the 20% was not made immediately available.
Starting from 1990s, WSG became the exclusive agent of the Asian Football Confederation, operating media copyrights and business development rights of all AFC events. Apart from being a long-term partner of AFC, WSG also manages other top event resources in Asia, including WTA finals from 2014 to 2018, SMBC Singapore Open, and Emirates Australian Open.
Lagardere Groupe has over 20 years of experience in the Asian sports sector. It can provide customers with various services such as stadium consulting, athlete agent, integrated marketing of sponsor brands, media cooperation, and governmental sports institution cooperation.
Commenting on this investment, Le Sports CEO Lei Zhenjian said that it is an important step for Le Sports to realize upstream event resource layout and global strategy. Meanwhile, by cooperating with Le Sports, Lagardere Groupe can rapidly merge into the Chinese market and get close contact with China's new-generation of sports fans, who are deeply influenced by the Internet.
Le Sports also announced that the company has gained the full media copyrights in mainland China for all AFC events from 2017 to 2020.