As part of the deal, MU content, including selected first team matches, highlights and localised original productions, will be made available to 700 million users across Alibaba’s streaming platform.
Manchester United Youku channel – one of Alibaba’s streaming platforms – will feature Academy, women’s and first-team tour games, plus first-team matches shown on-demand and China-specific content. MU has already broadcast three games from its pre-season tour on the Youku homepage.
Furthermore, the collaboration will allow MU to create a flagship shop on Tmall, an Alibaba’s B2C marketplace, to sell its merchandise – and actively engage its fans in China.
Manchester United’s group managing director, Richard Arnold, said: “We’re proud of our passionate and loyal following around the world and our Chinese fans are a huge part of that.
“We are always looking for new ways to engage with fans there and this partnership with Alibaba enables them to connect with the club directly through one of China’s most popular video streaming platforms.
“We’re looking forward to working with Alibaba to further grow our fan base in China and building on other areas of the partnership in the near future.”