July 22, 2013, 11:15 AM

The National Football League goes for an e-commerce touchdown in China

It will begin selling apparel, equipment and accessories there in September.

Lead Photo

The National Football League plans to kick off a new e-commerce site in China in September. The online store will sell apparel, equipment and accessories on Chinese online marketplace Tmall, a unit of Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd., according to the NFL.

Alibaba is China’s dominant e-commerce player and the No. 1 e-retail company in the Internet Retailer 2013 Asia 500.

More than 5 million Chinese consumers are highly interested in the National Football League, and another 15 million have at least some interest in it, according to NFL China, the league’s fifth international office, which opened in Beijing in 2007. That fan base has been growing 35% year over year in the country, it says.

In order to sell in China, the NFL will use technology and services from Export Now, which helps U.S.-based retailers to sell in the country through Chinese-language stores on the Tmall and Taobao e-marketplaces.  The company provides market research and selling advice; distribution services; help with regulatory compliance, such as import tariffs, trademark registrations and taxes;  e-commerce store creation; online marketing and advertising services; fulfillment and customer support; and transaction, inventory and information technology management. Export Now says 110 clients worldwide use its services.

“Export Now offers the NFL the ability to accelerate our international development and expand our access to the Chinese consumer market,” says Richard Young, managing director of NFL China. “NFL products are becoming increasingly popular around the world. We are excited at the opportunity to increase the availability of our teams’ apparel, equipment and accessories and serve our fans in China.”


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