The Pac-12 and Alibaba Group Holding Limited, the world’s largest mobile and online commerce company, have announced a joint partnership supporting the upcoming Texas Longhorns vs. the Washington Huskies game in China. This will be one of most historic games in the history of the Pac-12.
The two-year partnership with the Alibaba group will represent a major first in the history of sports in China. The Pac-12 will be the first United States sports league, professional or collegiate, to host a regular season game in China. The agreement with Alibaba will continue through the 2016-2017 academic year. The participates of next year’s game will be announced at a later date.
“We are proud to welcome Alibaba Group as a partner for our first-ever Pac-12 China Game,” said Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott. “Alibaba’s innovative spirit and excellence are compatible with Pac-12’s values, and will be critical as we focus on growing our activities in China and providing our student-athletes with transformative educational and cultural experiences.”
“This partnership is about so much more than a basketball game,” said Wilkinson. “As these student-athletes complete their education and enter the global economy, China/US relations will be central to the future of the world in which they live. We truly believe that this trip will provide these student athletes with a once in a lifetime chance to learn about China, to make new friends, and to hopefully impact their futures in a positive way.”
The China game will be played November 14, at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai. This is the latest event in the Pac-12’s Globalization initiative. This is an unprecedented effort to promote goodwill and showcase the conference and its member institutions in China through student-athlete exchanges and sports.
The game starts at 11 a.m. local time, and will be broadcasted at 7 p.m. on ESPN.
Along with the China game, Alibaba is starting a student initiative, which will bring Chinese students to schools in the Pac-12 for them to shadow and observe their Western counterparts. Also, during their visit to China, both teams will attend an educational program in Hangzhou, China.