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|Tuesday, July 17, 2001, updated at 08:55(GMT+8)|
Tom.com Aims to Be China's No 1 Sports FirmInternet portal tom.com Ltd said Saturday it would become the largest sports marketing company in China if it could clinch a deal with the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) in the next two weeks.
Tom.com, which already owned the commercial rights for major national sports such as volleyball, table tennis and gymnastics, was hoping to strike a similar deal with the CBA, said spokeswoman Rachal Chan.
"If we can clinch the deal with CBA then we'll be the largest sports marketing company in China by the number of commercial rights," Chan said, adding that basketball was the second most popular sport in China after soccer, currently managed by international sports management firm IMG.
Chan said tom.com had applied for the commercial rights of the CBA, including event organization and advertising sponsorships, and would learn the outcome by the end of July.
Chan declined to speculate how much money tom.com could potentially generate from a CBA deal, saying only that offline businesses, which included outdoor advertising and sports marketing, were responsible for more than 50 percent of tom.com's revenue in year 2000.
Tom.com last year bought a 70 percent stake in YC Companies, a mainland sports marketing agency, for HK$236.6 million (US$30.3 million).
Shares in tom.com closed 1.22 percent lower at HK$2.025 (US$0.26) Friday.
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