May 23, 2011 - Source: CCTV-IMG

CCTV-IMG Takes Significant Ownership Stake

Partnership Expected To Drive the Development and Change the Landscape of Motorsports in China

CCTV-IMG Sports Management Company, China’s high-profile sports joint venture between CCTV, the national television network of China and IMG Worldwide, the global sports, fashion and media company, today announced a strategic partnership with Shanghai Racing Sports Corporation to manage and promote China Touring Car Championship (CTCC).  CCTV-IMG will own a significant stake in CTCC.

CTCC operates the country's highest-level touring car events. Since Shanghai Racing Company became the exclusive promoter of the series three years ago, CTCC has became the world's fastest-growing motorsport series, garnering increasing attention from both domestic and foreign automakers and other related industries.

"CCTV-IMG is a leader in China’s burgeoning sports industry with its unrivalled experience in sports management, while Shanghai Racing is the official promoter for CTCC and has a superb track record in motorsports,” said Zhan Guojun, Executive Vice Chairman of the Federation of Auto Sports of China (FASC).  “This strategic partnership presents a promising business model and enables CTCC to take advantage of both parties’ tremendous resources.  I am sure they will deliver better races and services to the CTCC fans, automakers, and teams. I believe the partnership will also drive the development and change the landscape of China’s motorsports.”

Following the formation of the strategic partnership, CCTV-5, China’s only national sports television channel, will provide extensive coverage for CTCC. Jiang Heping, Managing Director of CCTV Sports, said, “CCTV-5 will give full support to CTCC.  In addition to broadcasting all eight races of the season, Auto Times, the Channel’s only motorsport show, will produce special features on CTCC. We believe that as China has become the world’s largest automotive market, China’s motorsports has major potential and we are committed to take the sport to a whole new level.”

Adam Zhu, Chairman of IMG China, said, “CTCC has tremendous potential, energized by the significant synergy among the parties. This landmark partnership reflects IMG Chairman Ted Forstmann’s vision for IMG’s future.  For the past 30 years, IMG has managed many events in China, but here, for the first time, IMG is an equity partner, through its joint venture with CCTV, in a major sports franchise in China.  We are excited about this true partnership and we look forward to building CTCC into a world-class series.”

Tony Zheng Menghui, President of CCTV-IMG, said, “We are very excited about this partnership. Even though China’s auto industry is booming, motorsports is still lagging behind. Our partnership aims to exploit the opportunity by bringing fans high-quality, entertaining, home-grown motorsports content and by nurturing car culture in China.”

“The importance of the partnership for motorsport in China and the region as a whole cannot be understated,” said Rob Armstrong Global Head of Motorsport at IMG. “We know we can develop this series over time so that Chinese motorsports begins to reflect the scale and importance of its auto industry.”

Under the strategic partnership, CCTV-IMG and Shanghai Racing will also work on the commercial side to build the value of the series.