It is no secret that China's engagement in global sport was linked to its broader global ambitions and that sport, business, and politics are inextricably linked. Beijing has impressively become the first city in history to host both a Summer and a Winter Olympics. And yet at the same time its efforts to promote domestic football and ultimately win the World Cup have fallen flat and other international leagues like the NBA and WTA have had to carefully navigate political sensitivities in China. Domestic sportswear companies like Li-Ning and Anta have been giving global giants like Nike and Adidas a run for their money.
In this session Mark Dreyer, China Sports Insider and author of Sporting Superpower: An Insider's View on China's Quest to be the Best, will join us to explore the current state of play for sport in China and what it indicates more broadly for business and geopolitics. From covering the glamour of the 2008 Beijing Olympics to the Asian Games in Hangzhou this September, Mark has been in the stadium.
Please note that this event is limited to senior-level executives and per invitation only. If you are not an existing member of The Economist Intelligence Corporate Network, but would like to learn how you can attend our events, please contact us.
China Sports Insider and author of Sporting Superpower
Formerly a football reporter with Sky Sports in the UK, Mark Dreyer has been covering sports around the world for two decades. An accredited journalist at four Olympic and Paralympic Games (Beijing, Vancouver, London 2008-12 and Beijing 2022), he has also been a reporter and producer for both Fox Sports and AP Sports in the US and has reported and commentated on sports events in five different continents. He is regularly asked to comment on the Chinese sports industry for BBC, CNBC, Bloomberg, Financial Times and many others. Based in Beijing since 2007, Mark runs the China Sports Insider website and co-hosts the China Sports Insider Podcast on the Sinica Network. His first book, Sporting Superpower: An Insider’s View on China’s Quest to Be the Best, came out in 2022. He is also the Senior Director of Marketing & Communications of the American Chamber of Commerce in China.
China Director of The Economist Intelligence Corporate Network
Mattie Bekink is responsible for the Economist Intelligence Corporate Network’s China strategy, including programme development and client engagement across China.
Ms Bekink has extensive experience in the public, private and policy sectors. Prior to joining The Economist Group, she was the Executive Director of the Fulbright Commission in the Netherlands. She also ran an eponymous consulting business, advising businesses, universities and non-profit organisations on China policy, strategy, public affairs, and CSR. Ms Bekink practiced law at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, has worked with the US-Asia Law Initiative at NYU Law School and the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative China Program, and served in the legal department at General Motors China.
Ms Bekink has a BA in International Relations from Stanford University and a JD from the Georgetown University Law Center.
Beijing Director of Economist Intelligence Corporate Network
Robert Xiao is the Director of the Economist Intelligence Corporate Network (EICN) in Beijing. He is responsible for engaging with top executives in the region and providing insights on economic and policy trends to support their business development in the Chinese market.
Mr Xiao was previously a PhD Supervisor and Deputy Director of the Impact Finance Hub at Deakin Business School before joining EICN. His research mainly focused on the fields of corporate social responsibility, corporate governance, and economic and financial policy analysis related to the Chinese market. He has authored multiple publications in Financial Times Top 50 Journals and been awarded major research grants jointly by the Australia Academy of Social Sciences and Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. He also has more than a decade of experience teaching business courses including in Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Finance, and Bachelor of Commerce programmes at leading universities.
Mr Xiao has a Ph.D. in Finance and B.Com. (Hons) in Accounting and Finance from Monash University.