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On October 19, Fosun Sports Group (hereinafter referred to as “Fosun Sports”), a global pan-sports industry operating group company and subsidiary of Fosun International’s happiness segment, announced the formal establishment of Fosun Sports as a holding entity, and the acquisition of core operating assets and management team of Foyo, in games, esports and sports. At the same time, Fosun Sports has received a minority strategic investment from the U.S. finance and technology firm, PEAK6 Investments, which will continue to deepen the global industrial layout around the core business of sports, esports and games in the future.
Since Fosun acquired Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club in 2016, Fosun Sports has relied on the group’s global resources and built a professional team to operate the club consistently and steadily, which has greatly enhanced Wolves’ brand value. In 2018, Wolves won the EFL Championship title and returned to the English Premier League, with 7th placed-finishes in the Premier League for two consecutive seasons and a last-eight finish in the UEFA Europa League. Wolves ranked 19th in the Brand Finance 2020 football club brand value rankings.
Meanwhile, Fosun Sports has built a sports-focused platform to offer its community of loyal football and esports fans a unique and innovative range of products (merchandising, sports fashion…) + content (music, mobile gaming, social media) + experience (matches, gaming portal…). Today, Fosun Sports has found its unique path to directly communicate with young audiences and connect with core users.
In 2019, Fosun Sports established the trendy sports brand WWFC based on the Wolves IP (Intellectual Property) and launched a collaboration series. Through “Wolves Fashion Night” and “Wolves Fan Night”, Fosun Sports harnessed the combined power of its projects, fully deploying the resources of fashion, trend, and partner brands. Wolves has now been successfully transformed from a traditional soccer brand to a diversified pan-sports lifestyle brand and is known as a practitioner of “sports + fashion” in the industry. Such IP operation capability also makes Fosun Sports the exclusive authorised partner of CFA (China Football Association) China Team to develop licensed products and create a new “content + trend + youth” lifestyle brand “My Home Field”.
In addition, Fosun Sport actively entered the esports industry. Since 2018, Wolves has been one of the most active Premier League clubs in esports, with three teams in the UK – FIFA 22, Rocket League and Le Mans/Formula Pro Series sim racing, as well as strong collaborations with other popular esports titles such as Fortnite. From 2019, Fosun Sports has entered the China esports market with the “Wolves Esports” brand, currently with five divisions including Honor of Kings, QQ Speed, Identity V, Call of Duty Mobile, FIFA Online 4, and has won multiple titles in international and domestic major competitions. Three out of the five squads have won championships in various national or global competitions.
The acquisition of Chongqing QGhappy (now renamed as Chongqing Wolves), the Honor of Kings professional league team with six championship titles, in September, was one of the most critical moves by Fosun Sports to connect with young audiences in the esports world, further expanding its esports footprint by entering KPL, the top league of mobile gaming with 100 million daily active users. The addition of a Wolves KPL squad has made the Wolves Esports brand one of the best in Asia.
The strategic investor in Fosun Sports, PEAK6, is the owner of North American esports powerhouse Evil Geniuses, a team with a long and decorated history since its foundation in 1999, and the winner of the fifth International DOTA2 Championships (Ti5). Fosun Sports then made a strategic investment into Evil Geniuses in July 2021, building deep cooperation between Wolves and Evil Geniuses, and thus entering the North American esports market.
From DOTA2, Honor of Kings, FIFA, Call of Duty Mobile, QQ Speed, Identity V and virtual 24 hours of Le Mans combined with traditional sports, Fosun Sports has advanced in the esports market in China, North America and Europe, achieving “full coverage” in esports both geographically and in terms of projects.
Fosun Sports has reached more than 30 million fans worldwide through its two core businesses of soccer and esports, which brings infinite possibilities for business development to form a global sports ecosystem.
Mr. Jeff Shi, Chairman of Fosun Sports, said he was delighted to have PEAK6 join the Fosun Sports family. “Our organisations have great synergy, from our mutual desire to challenge conformity, to our openness for collaboration, and of course our shared passion for sports, technology and achieving success through hard work, intelligence and innovation.”
“We are confident PEAK6 can help bring Fosun Sports and Wolves a wealth of knowledge, wisdom and learning, and support Fosun Sports to become a sports industry group with global influence and much success.”
Fosun Sports is also one of the key business units of Fosun’s happiness segment. After the restructuring, the company will have the opportunity of rapid development with empowerment from Fosun’s ecology, and to gain greater synergies through mutual empowerment with other member brands in the Fosun system.