50 Folgen

If it’s about sports and there’s a China angle, we’ll talk about it in the China Sports Insider Podcast. Mark Dreyer is the China Sports Insider. He’s worked for Sky Sports, Fox Sports, AP Sports and many others, and has covered major sporting events on five continents, including three Olympic Games 2008-12. He has been based in China since 2007. Produced and hosted by Haig Balian, a journalist and filmmaker who hosts and produces The Beijing Sessions podcast.

China Sports Insider Podcast SupChina

    • Sport

If it’s about sports and there’s a China angle, we’ll talk about it in the China Sports Insider Podcast. Mark Dreyer is the China Sports Insider. He’s worked for Sky Sports, Fox Sports, AP Sports and many others, and has covered major sporting events on five continents, including three Olympic Games 2008-12. He has been based in China since 2007. Produced and hosted by Haig Balian, a journalist and filmmaker who hosts and produces The Beijing Sessions podcast.

    A deep dive into “Sporting Superpower”

    A deep dive into “Sporting Superpower”

    1:04 – As the China Sports Insider Podcast turns 50, are there still reasons to be optimistic about China’s sporting future? 

    2:46 – China may not be in the World Cup, but some skillfully edited videos circulating online have them winning the final – against Argentina! 

    4:14 – Qatar’s opening performance as host was a disappointment for rest of Asia.

    7:21 – Turning to MMA, Chinese UFC star Zhang Weili is back on top with a title win at Madison Square Garden.

    9:26 – The 2022 F1 season has come to a close. How did Rookie of the Year Zhou Guanyu perform and what does he have to do in 2023?

    14:35 – Meanwhile, the Women’s Tennis Association’s 2023 calendar is out, but there’s no promised return to China.

    17:16 – To mark the 50th episode of the podcast, Haig interviews Mark about his book “Sporting Superpower”, timed to coincide with the release of the paperback edition.

    18:17 – The reception to the book has been unexpected, with talks on the book’s themes requested from around the world. 

    18:55 – What is the book about and why write it?

    21:20 – Who is it aimed at?

    24:00 – Several athletes are referenced or quoted in the book – what has been their response?

    28:12 – Did anyone not like what was written?

    28:51 – The challenges of interviewing athletes in China.

    33:22 – Who were the most tight-lipped people?

    34:34 – Any stories that didn’t make it into the book that deserve a mention here?

    37:32 – What would it take for China’s sporting directives to lose focus? 

    40:00 – So is China’s sporting future still bright?

    45:26 – Are there any plans for a Chinese version of the book?  

    48:25 – Some parting words from Haig.







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    • 50 Min.
    Shankai’s Feng Tao on China’s World Cup involvement

    Shankai’s Feng Tao on China’s World Cup involvement

    2:00 – Marathons around the country have been getting postponed or canceled, but Beijing’s big race remains on — for now.

    5:54 – China is rumored to be launching a bid for the 2031 Women’s World Cup. What can we read into this?

    7:03 – A funny story from the aftermath of the Beijing Olympics, involving a Swiss snowboarder and an unusual tattoo.

    9:51 – Our guest this episode is Feng Tao, co-founder of sports marketing firm Shankai Sports, which has brokered some of the biggest deals in Chinese sports industry history and has held exclusive hospitality rights for China for every World Cup since 2010. 

    12:47 – The history of how many Chinese soccer fans traveled to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, as well as subsequent tournaments.

    17:04 – What will it be like if/when China gets back into the World Cup? The number of traveling fans could be insane.

    17:54 – This year in Qatar, however, has been a very different picture in terms of Chinese fan involvement.

    19:26 – But there are some Chinese sponsors who will have a visible presence throughout the tournament. 

    22:50 – Most Chinese sponsors have come from the consumer electronics sector, but dairy firm Mengniu has a very different strategy. 

    25:27 – The challenges of promoting Chinese brands with international markets.

    29:23 – Has the global perception of China impacted business around the world?

    30:03 – Feng Tao explains what he will be doing on the ground in Qatar later this month.

    32:40 – How Alibaba’s multi-year Olympic deal came to be and Jack Ma’s “marriage” with Thomas Bach.

    34:40 – How has China’s sports industry adapted to COVID-zero? 

    36:43 – One side effect of the country’s shutdown has been the growth of the domestic market.

    40:27 – That’s resulted in a number of strategy pivots across the board.

    42:12 – Some parting words for foreign brands and industry reps on staying involved in China.







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    • 44 Min.
    China’s sporting Politburo Standing Committee revealed – Part II

    China’s sporting Politburo Standing Committee revealed – Part II

    0:50 Some parallels between the handling of the Hu Jintao and Peng Shuai incidents.

    7:17 Following on from Part I, which outlined the top seven sporting figures of the past decade, we move to Part II and reveal who are the stars to watch – starting at the top (again, no spoilers!). Out with the old, in with the…old? 

    10:39 Second up is Mark’s pick for best female athlete of the future. 

    13:05 The best male athlete serves up a surprise.

    17:31 The best Olympian of the future is female, competes in a water sport, and has already reached the very top. Does that narrow it down?

    19:35 The fifth award – for best team – has a new name and a new stadium. 

    23:34 The People’s Choice award resonated with the public this year. But this superstar’s staying power is the only question…

    26:34 The coveted last slot, and winner of the DRESPY, comes out of left field. 

    30:00 Haig vents a bit about quarantine as the hosts prepare for their in-person reunion.







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    • 32 Min.
    China’s Sporting Politburo Standing Committee revealed – Part I

    China’s Sporting Politburo Standing Committee revealed – Part I

    0:40 – It’s Day 8 of quarantine for Mark on his return to Beijing and he’s been preoccupied by the fascinating waste disposal process.

    6:00 – Former guest on the show Cameron Dicker, who grew up in Shanghai, stars for the Philadelphia Eagles in his NFL debut as the Eagles stay unbeaten.

    10:50 – In honor of the upcoming 20th Party Congress, Mark reveals his top 7 China sports figures of the past in a very special – and somewhat tongue-in-cheek culminating in a new award (no spoilers).

    14:12 – Best female and male athletes.

    18:08 – Best Olympian and best team awards. 

    21:06 – And you won’t want to miss the People’s Choice or the DRESPY awards.

    Stay tuned to see who will be in the new sporting Standing Committee – revealed next week!

    28:10 Mark gives Haig a few pointers for his upcoming quarantine.







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    • 30 Min.
    Canada’s Ivy Liao speaks from inside Chengdu’s ping pong bubble

    Canada’s Ivy Liao speaks from inside Chengdu’s ping pong bubble

    1:20: The FIFA World Cup is approaching. How much buzz will there be in China?

    3:23: Mike Pompeo was in Taiwan this week and Mark had a passing glimpse

    5:39: The Chinese women’s basketball team is into the semis at the FIBA World Cup and could challenge for a medal for the first time in 28 years.

    9:33: Eileen Gu poses for her first day at school as she joins a strong list of student athletes at Stanford

    12:36: Chess has been in the news for all the wrong reasons recently and a Chinese woman grandmaster has been on the end of some sexist comments

    15:11: Beijing 2022 mascot Bing Dwen Dwen rides off into the sunset

    18:52: The World Team Table Tennis Championships kick off this week in Chengdu, just weeks after the city exited a lockdown, showing just how important the sport is to China.

    22:04: Our guest this week is Ivy Liao, a Canadian table tennis player competing in Chengdu. She speaks to us from inside the bubble.

    22:23: Liao tells the story of her arduous journey to Chengdu, with all international athletes having to take a charter flight from with Dubai or Singapore, as she prepared to compete in Zero-COVID conditions.

    24:38: The mental side looms large in athletes’ minds when playing in a bubble. What lies ahead for players at the event?

    27:00: But have the Chinese players been mixing with players from other countries at all?

    31:00 The nature of team competition: competing against an international teammate versus only playing someone from another country.

    34:57: Why is China so good at table tennis and how can the rest of the world catch up?

    40:20: Over the years, dozens of players from China have naturalized overseas in order to represent other countries in international competition. How are these “exports” viewed within the game?

    46:40: Liao talks about her previous visits to China and connecting with her own Chinese heritage.

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    • 53 Min.
    F1 gridlock in China and Putin's Olympic brainwave

    F1 gridlock in China and Putin's Olympic brainwave

    0:45: Mark recounts his earthquake experience in Taiwan and highlights how the cluster of former China journalists now based on the island is affecting the overall narrative.

    6:03: The livestream is back for a second week — with one crucial difference thanks to feedback from a listener/viewer.

    8:10: F1 releases its 2023 calendar. Shanghai is down for April 23, but Mark promises to eat Haig’s hat if the race actually takes place.

    14:32: A discussion about short-term thinking, and how it affects the development of sports in China, especially when long-term horizons are essential. That’s why David Beckham was brought to China as a CSL Ambassador, but had very little effect.

    17:01: Vladimir Putin has floated the idea of an alternative sporting competition with China, India and other SCO nations. It sounds rather like – in fact just like – the Olympics.

    21:47: A former UCLA basketball player, Jalen Hill, died in Costa Rica this week, aged 22. He spoke eloquently a year ago of battling some demons, linked to a fateful trip to China in 2017.

    27:04: Nike is getting in on the podcasting bandwagon in China. What can we expect?

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    • 36 Min.

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