AmCham Shanghai's Sports Committee will discuss Sports in China and COVID-19 on April 10th, from 10:00am to 11:00am China Standard Time (GMT +8).
We'll kickoff this webinar with general overview of the industry by looking into the current challenges and possible opportunities emerging from the COVID-19 outbreak. With seasons being cut short and major events being cancelled, revenue generated from media, sponsorship, merchandise, and ticket sales are in jeopardy. We'll take a deeper dive into specific leagues and discuss how the various organizations are coping in this time of social distancing. Beyond the leagues, we'll discuss how the crisis has affected grass roots sports in China, as well as how professional athletes are handling the unexpected off-season. How are sports stars maintaining their health, fan bases, and working with brand sponsors during this time?
Chair at AmCham Shanghai Sports Committee
Founder of sports marketing advisory Eastbridge Sports Management, Mark Fischer has enjoyed more than two decades of building sports and media businesses in China and other key markets in Asia. Mark concurrently serves as chief commercial officer for the East Asia Super League (EASL), the first champions league format for professional basketball in this region; as well as executive director of Playmaker Kids Limited.
Mark previously established Asia operations for the Ultimate Fighting Championship, where he drove more than 10-fold increases in both audience and revenues, organized the company’s first six events in the region, and produced a 12-episode Chinese version of The Ultimate Fighter reality show series.
Prior to UFC, in a series of leadership roles at the National Basketball Association in Asia, Mark helped build the NBA’s brand and various business segments across the region. As the first managing director of NBA China, he drove that division’s explosive growth from a two-man startup to a valuation of $2.3 billion.
Proficient in Mandarin, the Boston native holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and a Bachelor’s in History from the University of Michigan.
Director of Research & Partnerships at AIB Sportsbrands
Joseph has more recently relocated to Shanghai, China from Los Angeles where he works for AIB Sportsbrands Studios, a Chinese-funded media network with offices in Beijing and Los Angeles. Their product, MORE体育, is a sports lifestyle entertainment platform available for download in Mainland China in the Apple and Android app stores. Besides managing over the marketing, social media, and user acquisition for the MORE体育 app, Joseph also oversees the Chinese social media accounts for over 16 NBA players.
Joseph knows the Chinese sports industry intimately as both an athlete (currently in the player pool for the Chinese National Rugby 7's & 15's Team) as well as a business professional helping to build China's first digital media network dedicated to sports lifestyle content. In this endeavor, Joseph has worked with both Chinese and International superstar athletes, global consumer brands, and social and multimedia platforms in helping create/adapt content, build strategy, and execute in the Chinese market.
Joseph graduated from the University of Southern California where he completed bachelor degrees in Print & Digital Journalism and East Asian Languages and Cultures: Chinese and also completed a master's degree in Public Diplomacy. While at USC, he captained the Trojan Rugby Club for 3 years and was a punter on the Trojan’s NCAA Varsity-Football team for 2 seasons. Joseph speaks fluent English, Chinese and is conversational in Spanish.
Chairman at Active Kids Shanghai, and Counsel at JunHe LLP
Jeffrey Wilson is chair of Active Kids Shanghai, which has operated as a non-profit for 20 years serving 2,000 children annually in Shanghai in soccer, basketball, baseball, and volleyball programs. He is also counsel at JunHe LLP, where he is a member of the firm’s employment practice, and the media, entertainment, and sports practice. He has a JD and MA in Chinese Studies from the University of Washington.
Matt Beyer is founder and CEO of East Asia Super League (EASL), the premier pan-regional basketball club competition. Under Matt’s leadership, EASL for the past three years has staged The Terrific 12, a thrilling pre-season tournament in Macao for the region’s top teams; and recently reached an exclusive agreement with FIBA to launch in 2021 the first “champions league” format for East Asia’s top professional basketball leagues and clubs.
Previously, as the first non-Chinese citizen to become a registered sports agent in China, Matt founded ALTIUS Culture Ltd, an international sports agency based in Hangzhou. ALTIUS is now the largest player agency in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) league, representing 40% of foreign players signed, including former NBA stars such as Lance Stephenson and Ian Clark.
Matt’s experience with professional basketball began over a decade ago while working for the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks as translator and advisor to Yi Jian Lian, one of the best Chinese players ever. Fluent in Mandarin Chinese, Matt originally hails from Wisconsin and resides in Hong Kong.
Greg Gilligan joined the PGA TOUR in late 2013 as Vice President and is the lead executive in China serving as PGA TOUR China Managing Director. Also currently serving as the 2020 AmCham China Chairman, Mr. Gilligan is once again in an elected capacity in support of a membership of 900+ member companies and many thousands of individuals from those companies, assisting the membership and the U.S. and China governments to drive the commercial relationship between the two countries. This is Mr. Gilligan’s ninth year of service to AmCham, twice as a governor and three times each as chairman or vice-chairman.
Prior to the PGA TOUR Mr. Gilligan was the Managing Director of APCO Worldwide’s Beijing office, leading a large team of consultants in serving dozens of multinational companies doing business in China. He joined APCO after serving as General Manager of Corporate Affairs for McDonald’s (China) Co., Ltd., where he developed and executed strategies to enhance McDonald's brand and corporate image among China’s regulatory bodies, consumers and other key stakeholders. Prior to that role he served as McDonald’s China’s General Manager for Southeast China.
Mr. Gilligan holds a Master of Business Administration from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology; a Master of Arts in Asian Studies and Juris Doctor degrees from Washington University in St. Louis; and a Bachelor of Arts in history from Fairleigh Dickinson University. He has been a member of the Missouri Bar Association since 1995.
Now in his twenty-fourth year in China, Mr. Gilligan is fluent in Mandarin Chinese.