Real Madrid follow Bayern Munich with e-commerce store in China on Alibaba’s Tmall

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 28 July, 2015, 12:58pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 28 July, 2015, 1:01pm

Spanish football club Real Madrid became the second European club to launch an online store on Alibaba’s Tmall, China's largest third-party platform for brands and retailers, two months after Bayern Munich inked a similar deal in May.

The Spanish giant announced the strategic partnership with China's e-commerce tycoon Alibaba at a signing ceremony on Sunday where 28 players, including Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo, were present.

The club’s president Florentino Perez said they are deepening their relationship with China through the deal with Alibaba, the top global player in e-commerce.

Alibaba’s online shopping platforms claimed to have 350 million active buyers in the first quarter, up 4.7 per cent from the last three months of 2014. 

The company enjoyed a net income of US$463 million, with an annual growth of 49 per cent, according to its annual report.

The Real Madrid store now has more than 200 items of club merchandise for sale, including jerseys, shoes, casual wear and bags.

The 10-time Champions League winner launched its brief China tour by beating Inter Milan 3-0 in Guangzhou, Guangdong province on Monday evening. It will wrap up its tour with a match against AC Milan in Shanghai on Thursday.

German powerhouse Bayern Munich opened its online store on Tmall in May, where it sells a variety of fan merchandise from apparel to traditional German and Bavarian products. 

NBA star Kobe Bryant is also linking up with Alibaba. Bryant will launch his biographical documentary Muse this summer in collaboration with Tmall. He plans to launch a store on the platform soon, according to his official account on Chinese microblogging site Weibo. 

Alibaba and rival Chinese e-commerce giant have also partnered with American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift to land the exclusive rights to Swift’s fashion line, which is due out in the coming months.

As China’s e-commerce industry continues to boom, total transactions exceeded 3.48 trillion yuan (US$567.49 billion)I n the first quarter of 2015, according to China Internet Watch. It forecasts annual growth of 10.1 per cent.