Chinese technology giant Alibaba has now become the worldwide partner of the International Olympic Committee — a partnership that will last for 12 long years — up until 2028.

Alibaba will provide it’s core cloud and e-commerce services to the Olympic games, founder Jack Ma announced at the World economic Forum in Davos today during a news conference with International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach and Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang in attendance.

The company will hereby be instated into the Olympic Partner (TOP) program, and will aid in the conceptualization of Olympic Channel, that will sell official Olympic merchandise online. Alibaba has also expressed its intentions to create an Olympic Channel specifically catering to the Chinese audience. The IOC, through this partnership, is hoping to achieve “more efficiency”, and enter the big data space in a phased manner.

As expected, no exact figures have been divulged to the media, and Jack Ma himself has stated the deal is ‘not just another a sponsorship, but Alibaba will act as a partner.

Alibaba’s partnership with the IOC is built on a foundation of shared values and a common vision for connecting the world and enriching people’s lives.

Jack Ma said.

It might be worth a mention that the next three Olympic Games will be held in Asia: the 2018 Winter Olympics in Korea; the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo; and the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing.

Alicloud, the company’s fast expanding competitor to Amazon’s AWS and Microsoft Azure, has 14 centers worldwide. It had opened data centers in Dubai, Australia, Japan and Germany in November last year. It is currently Alibaba’s fastest growing business unit, having reported six successive quarters of triple digit growth.

There’s no doubt that a coordinated Olympics campaign that focuses on engagement can have a significant impact on ROI and brand awareness, but what cannot be denied is that Alibaba is truly already in the big league of technology and e-commerce majors. However, this new partnership may serve to boost the company’s standing and raise brand awareness in the international circles as well.

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