Alibaba welcomes Tony Parker as ambassador to boost B2B market expansion  · TechNode


Alibaba has signed NBA star Tony Parker as an ambassador for Alibaba.com, its cross-border business-to-business retail platform, just days before the Paris Olympics, as the company tries to lure European customers and eyes further international expansion. 

Why it matters: The signing of Parker comes shortly after David Beckham became ambassador for AliExpress, and its connections with professional sports figures indicate Alibaba’s intention to expand its businesses to reach a larger user base.

Details: Alibaba.com, founded in 1999 as the Chinese tech giant’s first business, was designed to serve as a bridge between foreign wholesalers and Chinese manufacturers.

  • Tony Parker made his entrepreneurial debut in 2019, after a legendary career marked by four NBA championships during his prime. Alibaba said Parker has a “powerful appeal” in the US and Europe.
  • The NBA star’s advertisements for Alibaba can be found in Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport and subway stations, and at well-known landmarks such as Avenue des Champs-Élysées.
  • The ongoing UEFA Euro 2024 football competition has benefited Chinese merchants on Alibaba’s international-focused e-commerce platform AliExpress, according to the company. One AliExpress seller from Xiamen, surnamed Zhang, decided to increase their stock of soccer-related goods “soon after” Beckham was appointed as the platform’s global ambassador ahead of the tournament. Zhang has seen a tenfold increase in sales within one month, AliExpress said in a WeChat post.

Context: Global sports events are a significant traffic pool for Chinese brands looking to expand their business overseas, with prominent logos on the field and strong visitor flow rate as well as live viewer count making for fast results, as demonstrated by the spike in downloads of Temu after its Super Bowl debut in 2023.

Cheyenne Dong

Cheyenne Dong is a tech reporter now based in Shanghai. She covers e-commerce and retail, AI, and blockchain. Connect with her via e-mail: cheyenne.dong[a]technode.com.
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