The Sports Entrepreneurs Podcast by Marcus Luer

Sam Li, The world of Sina Sports

April 10, 2020


Sam takes us into a deep dive tour of the fascinating world of SINA Sports, part of Sina- Weibo Group, China’s largest Social Media group (the Facebook, Twitter, Instagram of China, all rolled into one).

 Key Highlights

  1. China perspective on Covid-19, Sina Sports planning
  2. Early eye on sports thru law Degree – well established route
  3. Go back to his roots – NBA China first role in sports
  4. China Sports Social Media 101 – Sina – Weibo (Micro Blog)
  5. Weibo – the Twitter, Facebook, Instagram blend of China (biggest open Social Media platform in China)
  6. Wechat – closed social media in comparison plus other functions (Whatsapp on steroids)
  7. Business model – advertising driven, driven by large traffic
  8. Sina Sports – how it started and where it is now
  9. The Crazy years of Chinese Sports Media rights
  10. Monetization of Content, Chinese learning & the same challenge everywhere
  11.  Sina Sports three pillars :
    1. Digital Media
    2. Social Media
    3. Offline Events
  12. Offline events – owning events, IP and content (3-on-3 Basketball, Futsal and Skiing) – massive numbers
  13. Large logistics across the whole country, over 100 stops for most of the sports, including Skiing, venturing overseas
  14. Focus on “Mobile friendly” sports, core audience of Weibo
  15. Events are very sponsor friendly and driven, fully integrated with their Social Media platforms
  16. From Amateur to Elite League
  17. His advisory roles for various groups, entrepreneurship, learning



Sam Li is the Head of International Business Strategy for Sina Sports where he is responsible for domestic and international sports rights acquisition; strategic partnerships with rights holders, teams and individual athletes; and international sponsorships and marketing.

He was previously an Associate Vice President with the National Basketball Association. Sam has a Juris Doctor degree from University of Michigan Law School and dual bachelor degrees from University of California, Los Angeles.

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