Baidu, Perform Group Launch Co-branded Soccer Portal

Beijing Baidu Netcom Science and Technology (Baidu) has announced a strategic partnership with Perform Group in a deal that will see the launch of a co-branded soccer information portal goal.baidu.com, which combines the world’s largest digital football brand Goal.com and China’s largest search engine brand, Baidu.

Perform_straplineBaidu, the biggest search engine in China, and Perform, a leading digital sports content and media group (and owner of the Goal brand) will collaborate to create a team of local and international digital football experts. The cooperation will provide Chinese football fans with access to Goal’s comprehensive global coverage of football’s biggest teams and stars, while delivering a fresh perspective on the Chinese Super league.

Martyn Jones, Global GM of Goal.com, says, “This is a game-changing milestone for Goal and for Chinese football fans. In recent years, we’ve seen a new breed of fan emerge that’s young, socially inclined, mobile dependent and demanding a new type of football content. While traditional media have struggled to service their needs, Goal Baidu will give them what they want: the biggest stars, the fastest news and stories that provide them with social ammunition to share. With Baidu, we will engage this new breed of fan at scale.”

The Goal Baidu editorial team will collaborate with Goal’s existing global network of 500 professional journalists to publish all football content on goal.baidu.com and associated social platforms. The site’s live football proposition will be powered by Perform’s world-leading sports data business, Opta, and will provide unique performance insight to stat-hungry fans. Opta is the official data partner of leagues such as the EPL, Bundesliga, and MLS, and is used by over 800 broadcasters, digital media outlets, governing bodies, brands and sponsors in over 40 different countries.

Baidu’s subsidiary, Beijing Lehecai Technology will operate online advertising sales and marketing activities, while Goal Studios, Perform’s digital football agency, will partner with Lehecai to activate Goal’s global partnerships, including Nissan and Toyota, and help Chinese brands, clubs and rights-holders connect with international football fans.

Jacopo Tonoli, Perform Group CCO says: “Our collaboration with Baidu demonstrates our ambition. The timing couldn’t be more appropriate. With the surge in interest in the Chinese Super League, we are delighted to have a partner who shares our vision.”

Li Huan, Lehecai CEO comments, “Based on Baidu’s data analysis, we’ve seen millions of fans searching and visiting football websites through Baidu. Our strategic cooperation with Goal will broaden horizons for hundreds of millions of China’s football fans with quality exclusive content integrated globally. Meanwhile, with accumulating core users interested in football content and lottery services, we are looking forward to perfecting the business segments of Baidu Lottery.”