With Chinese sporting legend Yao Ming now in retirement, a gap in the market has opened up for companies looking to use brand-name sponsorships to expand on the mainland.
One contender, tennis player Li Na, 29, who won this year's French Open, is aiming to fill that gap. She has just signed sponsorship contracts worth US$42million after becoming the first Chinese winner of a grand slam singles title.
However, junior tennis player Roy Cheung Yiu Lon, 16, does not believe that Hong Kong players can reach the same heights as Li. 'There is not enough government support for both junior and senior players,' he said. 'It creates a bad cycle; sports with no backing cannot produce the good results to justify supporting them. So it is very hard for players to gain a high level of achievement.'